Thunder b-ball clinches playoff berth
Thursday, Mar 01, 2018 06:00 am
The St. Timothy Thunder senior boys basketball are heading into a David versus Goliath match up during the Calgary Senior High School Athletics Association (CSHSAA) playoffs next week.
The team clinched a playoff spot after a nail-biting 69-68 victory over the St. Martin de Porres Kodiaks on Feb. 23 to boost them into the eighth and final playoff spot and which will likely pit them against an undefeated Robert Thirsk squad.
Head coach Katlyn Nelson said the win against the Kodiaks was a good start heading into playoffs, but there were other important lessons that came from the game.
“The win was great and it kept us alive for another few weeks to prep for our quarterfinal match up. But, for me, winning is definitely not the most important thing,” Nelson said.
“The boys played as a team and played with all their heart … there was no stopping them. They just kept the intensity up and for the boys that win means a lot. It was proof they have what it takes to compete and they knew they earned that spot in the playoffs.”
Nelson also added that she felt her team has progressed mightily since the start of the regular season back in early December.
“The progress in the second half of the season has been all about attitude and the positivity that they’ve had since day one. Our first win really put it in our heads that they had what it takes,” Nelson said.
“Their work ethic at our January and February tournaments and their realization that they are a team that can play and win together meant that coming back into league games, there would be a huge boost in confidence.”
“The progression and the realization that they are a team, and one that can compete, is definitely their reward for what they’ve accomplished this season.”
Barring a huge upset, where last place Queen Elizabeth beats Robert Thirsk, The Thunder will now prepare for their quarterfinal game against the top ranked team in the league, which will take place on March 6.
“Robert Thirsk is the top team in our division for a reason. They are unbelievable competitors and it can be intimidating for any team to walk into the top team’s gym to play in a playoff match,” Nelson said.
“Thirsk will bring a lot of intensity to the game and they won’t ever let up. I appreciate that about them (Thirsk) because I know the St. Tim’s boys will play up to those high standards.”
While the match up is tough, Nelson and her squad have a plan in place that they believe will be a successful one.
“I’d really like to see the boys run a high-pressure defence throughout the course of the game. I want them to be fast on offence and get the ball down the court and I definitely want to see those points on the board,” Nelson said.
“But in every game we’ve won – tournament and league – we’ve won because our defence was impeccable. They know how to force the other team to turnover the ball. But, most importantly I want them to have fun.”
“I want to see that positivity, that camaraderie, that they’ve built up throughout the season. There’s no question that they always do better when they’re having fun. Win or lose I’ve been unbelievably lucky to coach this team. They’ve set the tone for years to come and I can’t wait.”