Bert Church beat Cochrane Cobras 56-34
It was a great way to cap off a perfect regular season for the Bert Church Chargers junior girls basketball team as it defeated the Cochrane Cobras 56-34 to win the Rocky View Sports Association (RVSA) divisional gold medal, March 2.
“It’s nice because we’ve been really working hard to improve the program at the school and taking our athletics to that next step,” said Chargers head coach Andy Kirk. “It was a whole lot of work by our girls. They put in a lot of time and effort, and they were rewarded by playing a very, very good final. They were pretty dominant for most of it.”
The divisional win was the first for Bert Church since 2006 and was the icing on the regular season during which the Chargers went 9-0. After losing in the final last year to the Chestermere Lakers, Charger Mishy Coward said it was exciting to finally capture the title.
“Our communication was working and now that it’s the end we finally know how to play as a team,” said Coward.
Despite going on a run where it closed the gap on the Chargers late in the fourth quarter, the Cobras were unable to solve the Chargers’ defence.
“They were tough and aggressive and we weren’t,” said Cochrane head coach Doug Jensen.
“We didn’t play well. We couldn’t finish a number of layups and we weren’t very good from the free throw line. Bert Church did all of that.
“It happened two or three times where we went on a run and got close and all of a sudden we had a breakdown on defence. Anytime we started to close the gap, they came back stronger. They responded well to any pressure we put on them.”
While a perfect season record may not indicate it, Kirk said the start to the season was slow for the Chargers, but he added that as the game wore on, the team’s mental toughness began to solidify and aided in its climb to the top of the podium.
“They bought into what we were doing and that makes them easy to coach,” he said. “They’re pretty determined and they were motivated to win. They like Cochrane and it’s become a part of the rivalry. We might end up seeing them again at Zones and it’s going to be even tougher to play them.”
The South Central Zone tournament began March 4 for all of the senior and junior basketball teams, but results were not available at press time.
The Chargers were dominant in its pursuit of RVSA gold, but Kirk said there was still a bit more the team could leave on the court at Zones.
“We need to go back to basics,” he said.
“We missed quite a few layups and that makes it hard on ourselves because if it comes down to a one-basket game, we need to make sure we can finish. It’s a case of the kids continuing to do what they’re doing, but (tidying it up).”