Cobras defeat varsity lady Chargers in divisional final
No matter how the game ended, it was going to be a momentous win for either the Bert Church Chargers or the Cochrane Cobras.
When the buzzer went, it was the Cobras capturing its second straight Rocky View Sports Association (RVSA) varsity girls basketball title with a 47-37 win over the Chargers, March 2.
For the Chargers, a silver medal meant a return to the RVSA podium after a three-year absence.
“Both the teams played a hard, physical game,” said Chargers head coach Ian Ferguson. “We gave each other all we could handle and at the end of the day, they shot the ball better than we did. They capitalized on their chances and we didn’t.”
Cobras head coach Randy Peron said the team came into the game with a defensive mindset, a plan that has served it well all season and paid off in the gold-medal game.
“Our defence has been great all year,” he said. “Our defence is what I’ve been preaching.”
“We knew it was going to be a battle. Bert Church was playing at home and they wanted to win as badly as we did. It was a matter of who goes on runs and we got fortunate.”
Both the Chargers and the Cobras finished the regular season with 2-5 records and as the third-seed teams in their respective divisions: Airdrie in the East and Cochrane in the West, but both Ferguson and Peron said when it came to the playoffs, it was anybody’s title to win.
The teams’ path to the finals included two major upsets. In the semi-finals, which were held March 1 at Bert Church, the Chargers defeated the Chestermere Lakers, the only undefeated team in the league, 63-60. The Cobras upset the Springbank Phoenix, which finished the regular season atop the West division, 49-48.
“This is the game we established as our goal to get to and we achieved that,” Ferguson said. “I had no doubt that this team was talented enough to beat any team in Rocky View. We had our ups and downs and we’re a really, really young team. We had five Grade 10s and two Grade 12s. At times we showed our age and at other times, we showed our true potential.”
The win in the final capped off a five-game win streak for the Cobras, which after winning its opening game back in December, went on to lose five of its next six games. The team’s resurgence, Peron said, came when it needed it most.
“We’re peaking at the right time,” he said. “We struggled in February, but all of a sudden with our hard work, the struggles got put away and we went on a roll. The stars were in line and the kids earned it.”