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Pandas and Zeniths have success in Saskatchewan

Posted on February 21, 2018 by Westwind Weekly

Garrett Simmons
Westwind Weekly News

It was a successful weekend in Saskatchewan for Magrath’s high school basketball teams.
The Pandas went 3-0 en route to the championship at the Luther Invitational Tournament in Regina, as the girls dispatched Regina’s Campbell Collegiate in the final.
A 68-52 victory in the final capped off a perfect weekend for the Pandas, which started with a 74-51 win over the host Luther team in the opener. Magrath followed up on that with a 57-43 win over Cardston in the semifinals.
For the Zeniths, it was a 2-1 weekend for the boys, as Magrath opened with an 89-71 win over Luther, and dropped a 69-57 decision to Cardston in the semis.
The Zeniths rebounded with a dominant 93-60 win over Manitoba’s St. Paul’s Crusaders.
Overall, it was a solid weekend for the Zeniths, as the tournament started off on a positive note with a win over the host team.
“We were able to control their best player and limit his shot opportunities,” said Magrath coach Danny Balderson, who highlighted the main reason his team was able to hand Luther an 18-point defeat.
The opportunity to play for the championship was extinguished with the loss to Cardston, as the Cougars kept Magrath offence at bay.
“Cardston hit a few shots down the end and we missed ours,” said Balderson. “We just need to make them.”
The Zeniths heated up in the team’s last game, and struck for 93 points.
“We executed offensively, especially in the paint,” said Balderson. “We hit our shots and pushed the ball effectively.”
Now, the team prepares for another series of big games this weekend, as Magrath heads to Edmonton to take part in Harry Ainlay’s Tri Prov Tournament. The Zeniths open play tonight (Thursday) against Edmonton’s Jasper Place.
It’s an experience Balderson is looking forward to, as he added his team will be tested this weekend.
“Playing in pressure games is always good,” said the coach. “You learn how to think and execute when the pressure is on. For the most part, we did a good job of this.”
The coach went on to say Jasper Place will present a huge challenge for his team.
“They are one of the best teams in the province, and have some outstanding players. We will need to play solid defence and execute on offence.”

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