Junior Mustangs advance in RVSA basketball playoffs
The Mustangs are one step closer to repeating as divisional champions.
George McDougall’s junior boys basketball team defeated the Bow Valley Bobcats 57-44 in the Rocky View Sports Association (RVSA) quarterfinals, Feb. 26.
The Mustangs jumped out to a commanding lead against the Bobcats and took a 31-19 lead into the second half, but ran into a rejuvenated Bow Valley team in the third quarter. George Mac struggled offensively while the Bobcats mounted a comeback. With two minutes left until the final quarter, the Mustangs held a slim 35-30 lead over Bow Valley.
“Bow Valley played a really aggressive zone defence and we had trouble against it,” said Mustangs head coach Mike Dow. “That took us out of our game because we couldn’t hit our outside shots.”
While it couldn’t wrestle the lead away from the Mustangs, Bow Valley came within three points of doing so and upsetting Airdrie, which finished the regular season with a 2-5 record.
“We lost a bit of momentum and were rattled by a few calls in the second quarter,” said Bobcats head coach Harv Davies. “Our kids got their cool back. They settled down and began playing their game instead of panicking and making mistakes. They almost pulled it off.”
An upset over the Mustangs would have turned the Bobcats, who finished the regular season without a win in seven games, into the Cinderella team of the season, but Davies said it was the effort he wanted to see the team end its season with.
“It was a tough season, but the boys improved and they didn’t quit,” he said. “They came to play every night and that’s what sports (are) about. (The season) was a character builder and this was one of their best games of the season.”
George Mac’s quarterfinal win was another step on the path to reclaiming its divisional title, but in order to challenge again for the gold medal, the team will have to go through Cochrane in the semifinals.
Gold has been the ‘Stangs’ goal all season, but Dow said with the young, inexperienced team they have, he will be happy with bronze or silver.
“Our goal was to make it to the playoffs and compete,” he said. “At the beginning of the season we were quite worried about the youth and a lot of the smaller kids.”
George McDougall’s semifinal game against Cochrane took place Feb. 28 in Cochrane (after press time). After defeating Bert Church 60-31 in the second quarterfinal game Feb. 26, Springbank set up its semifinal match-up with Chestermere. The Lakers-Phoenix game took place on Feb. 28.
The Lakers’ junior girls team defeated Bow Valley 60-36 in is quarterfinal game Feb. 26 while the score of the George McDougall-Springbank game was not available at press time.
The winner of Mustangs-Phoenix game played Bert Church in the semifinals in Airdrie while Chestermere visited Cochrane.