Cobras b-ball qualify for Zones
Thursday, Mar 08, 2018 06:00 am
All four Cochrane High Cobras basketball teams are preparing for the upcoming South Central Zone Championships after each team brought home a medal from the league playoffs on March 3.
The junior Cobra girls went undefeated through the regular season with a 6-0 record, outscoring their opponents 337-225. The team continued that trend, upending the Springbank Phoenix 54-49 in the semifinals as well as cross-town rival Bow Valley 63-50 in the final game to take home the Rocky View Divisional Championship.
Cobras head coach Tom Knitter said the championship game was a battle from start to finish, but he was happy with how his team managed to close out a tight contest.
“The final game was the fourth time we’d played Bow Valley this year … the first game went to overtime and the last two games were decided by less than three points. We started the game with a 10-point run, but Bow Valley was able to battle back and make it close,” Knitter said.
“We were up by two heading into the fourth quarter and we were able to manage another 10-point run, which helped us take the game home from there.”
“Those tough games we had (against Springbank and Bow Valley) really speaks volumes to the competition we have in this league. We had tough games all year against those teams as well as W.H. Croxford and one of the things we talk to our girls about is to go out and compete and finish games strong,” Knitter said.
“They’ve been able to do that all season and I think for them to be able to step up in the fourth quarter with the game on the line and I think that’s a really strong quality of a good team.”
The Cobras might have finished the season undefeated, but it didn’t come easy to the squad as they battled injuries and illness throughout the season.
“This is my first year coaching high school level basketball, and I think one of the things the girls learned this year was toughness,” said Knitter, who also coaches university football.
“We’ve been through a lot this season and I’ve pushed them hard all year long. We’re definitely a mentally and physically tough team and I had two girls that were battling illness and injury, yet were able to step up and play some valuable minutes.”
“It just shows we have a team committed to getting better each day and I couldn’t be happier with the group of girls I have.”
The Cobras will now gear up for the Zone Championships on March 9 and 10 at Bow Valley high school.
“So we will play the winner of W.H. Croxford and Springbank. We’ve had tough games against those guys in the past, so we need to prepare for that game first,” Knitter said when asked about what he would expect from the Zone tournament.
“If we’re successful in that game, we’ll play the winner of Bow Valley and Brooks. Brooks is kind of the wildcat of this tournament … I’m not sure if anyone has played them this season, but I’m expecting they’re a tough team. With that said, I wouldn’t be surprised if Bow Valley was in the final game either.”
The junior boy’s team finished the regular season undefeated with a similar 6-0 record to their female comrades, but after defeating George McDougall in the semifinals, the boys dropped a close 80-71 decision to Chestermere in the league finals. The Cobras will practise this week before heading to W.H. Croxford high school in Airdrie to play in the Zone Championship tournament.
Cochrane High senior boy’s and girl’s teams finished in first and second place respectively in their leagues and advanced to the league final after blowout semi final victories. Unfortunately the boys were handed a heartbreaking 70-68 loss at the hands of the Bert Church Chargers, while the girls fell to the Chestermere Cowboys 67-42. The ladies will head to Chestermere once again for Zones, while the boys will make the trip up to Brooks.
After the Zone Championship tournament, Cochrane High will welcome teams all across Alberta for the 3A Provincial Championship tournament that will take place from March 15-17. Games will be played at all three Cochrane high schools, as well as Mitford Middle School.
Ticket prices for the games are $10 a day or $20 for a tournament pass for adults and $5 a day or $10 tournament pass for students and seniors. Children under 12 are free. For additional information visit www.asaa.ca.