By Karlene Skretting
Westwind Weekly News
“They killed us, it was really sad,” said Magrath Pandas head coach Kristyn Barfuss about the girls 85-54 loss to W.R. Myers in the ASAA 3A girls South Zone championship game in Lethbridge Saturday.
The Pandas defence never showed up, allowing the Rebels to score 12 three-pointers alone. And the offense wasn’t fully present either. Tana Stewart led the Pandas losing effort with 12 points while Cassidy Cook had 9.
“I don’t think we were prepared for what they brought … Taber couldn’t miss. And we couldn’t stop them.”
Despite the tough loss, the Pandas earned a silver medal and will join W.R. Myers and Eagle Butte to represent the South Zone at 3A provincials in Taber Thursday through Saturday.
In the semifinal matchup the Pandas defeated Medicine Hat Crescent Heights 89-52.
After a good practice Monday and Tuesday, Barfuss is confident that the girls will rebound back from their loss against the Rebels heading into provincials.
The fact that 3A girls provincials is in Taber will benefit the Pandas because many of their loyal fans will be making the drive, dressed in blue and gold, to cheer them on. The girls will also get to sleep in their own beds and enjoy home cooked meals.
“I think it will be good for us to get good night sleeps and to be eating good food.”
The second seeded Magrath will open the provincial tournament Friday afternoon against the winner of the Holy Rosary (seeded seventh) and Wetaskiwin (seeded 10th) game, both of whom Magrath has not seen play this year.
Barfuss and the girls plan to watch that game Thursday so they can prepare and strategize to beat whoever is victorious.
None of the Pandas roster has provincial basketball experience, but the majority has provincial experience coping with the extra pressure and crowds through volleyball.
“I think for sure we have a shot at that provincial gold medal and banner if the girls play well and learn and grow from mistakes on the weekend.”