The Bert Church Chargers senior boys’ basketball team is once again Rocky View Sports Association (RVSA) Champions after knocking off the Cochrane Cobras 70-68 in the division finals March 3.
Riding a wave of momentum, the Chargers won three-straight playoff matchups in five days en route to its first senior boys’ title since the 2007-08 season.
“For the Grade 12s going out on a divisional championship high, that’s great for them. As a coach, you can’t be more proud,” said Chargers head coach Mike Sera.
“For the team as a whole, it was great to see their joined elation because all their hard work has paid off.”
Sera said a complete-team effort led to the Chargers’ success.
“Every night, we had someone new step up and we had consistency through the whole team,” he said.
Entering the RVSA post-season, the Chargers were seeded third with a 4-1 record. This standing resulted in the team playing an extra game in the quarterfinals against the 1-5 Springbank Phoenix.
In the Feb. 27 game, the Chargers destroyed the Phoenix 103-39, setting the team up for a semi-final matchup with the George McDougall Mustangs – the only RVSA team that had defeated the Chargers earlier this season.
“(The Mustang loss) was good. It was a time for us to refocus,” Sera said. “It was an opportunity for us to step back and go, ‘Hey, we’ve got some things we’ve got to work out and get better at if we want to beat that team.’
“We did that. We came in with a new focus after that loss.”
The Chargers took on the Mustangs March 1 for a tight 85-75 victory.
Although the Chargers ended the Mustangs’ bid for a second RVSA title in as many years, Sera said his team likely hasn’t seen the last of George McDougall. Both teams are preparing for the South Central Zone Championships, vying for a spot at the Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association (ASAA) 3A Provincials.
The Chargers concluded the sweep March 3 with a nail-biting 70-68 victory.
The team led through the opening half, but a nearly seven-minute-long dry spell diminished the lead in the third.
The Chargers recovered thanks to a dominating defence, which Sera said has been the team’s strength throughout the season. The win gave Bert Church its first RVSA title in 10 seasons.
“Our defence, all season long, has driven our offence. When we get stops, that gives us opportunities to go down and score on transition or to execute on offence,” Sera said.
The Championship title will only embolden the Chargers for its run at the South Central Zone Championships.
The Chargers’ Zone playoffs began March 6, when it played host to the Olds High School Spartans. Zones continue until March 10, with the finals being hosted in Brooks, Alta.