Mustangs senior boys nearly pull off massive upset in RVSA finals
By: Lucas Punkari
| Posted: Thursday, Mar 13, 2014 10:38 am
With a 40-29 lead at halftime, it looked as if the George McDougall Mustangs senior boys basketball team were going to pull off the upset of the season in the Rocky View Sports Association (RVSA) championship game.
However, they were unable to hold off the undefeated Chestermere Lakers on March 8 in Springbank, as the No. 1 ranked ‘AA’ team in the province stormed back to take a 69–61 victory and win the league title.
“We are all disappointed right now,” Grade 12 Mustangs player Ryan Morck said. “We were up by a big margin at halftime, but we just couldn’t keep things going.”
“We had some defensive lapses, and we couldn’t get the key rebounds when we needed them the most,” he added. “That’s what cost us today.”
After jumping out to an 11-point lead in the first two quarters, the Mustangs could only watch on as the Lakers went on a 16-5 run in the opening five minutes of the second half to tie things up.
From there, the two teams traded points until the final minutes of the game, when the Lakers made a number of key shots and forced the Mustangs to turn the ball over.
“We had control when it came to getting the rebounds early on and we used our patience to get the lead,” Mustangs Head Coach Mike Dow said.
“When they came back to take the lead from us in the third, I just told the guys to focus on the game, which they did.”
“Chestermere is the top team in the province for a reason and they made some big three pointers late to put the game away,” he added. “You have to give them a lot of credit, but I don’t think they expected things to be this close.”
While the Lakers’ players celebrated Chestermere High School’s first RVSA title since 2009, Head Coach Mitch Turgeon was quick to sing the praises of his opponent.
“They really came to play today,” Turgeon said. “They have improved a lot since we saw them back in December, and I think they are going to be a really tough team to play against at the zones in Olds if we happen to play them.”
When it comes to succeeding at the South Central Zone championships, which will take place in Olds from March 14 and 15, Morck believes the team will have to maintain the status quo.
“We just need to control the rebounds and we need to key in on shutting down our opponent’s top players,” he said. “We did that against Cochrane in the semis and Chestermere in the finals, and we just need to keep doing that.”