Banged up Drillers win zone title
Basketball: Oilfields girls qualify for provincials
By: Bruce Campbell
| Posted: Wednesday, Mar 13, 2013 06:00 am
An Oilfields Driller recovering from a head injury wasn’t about to let her team down at the 2A South Central Zone girls basketball championship last weekend.
Now she has her team contemplating heading way up north for the provincial championship.
The Drillers defended their zone crown by downing Hugh Sutherland High School from Carstairs 56-26 in the final Saturday in Three Hills. However, the Drillers were nearly out of the tournament from the get-go as they needed some sharp-shooting from injured Kamala Knight who hit a trio of three-point shots in the second overtime to beat Beiseker 58-55 in the tournament opener on Friday.
Knight was sitting on the bench recovering from a concussion when a Driller fouled out during overtime. She was practically the last woman standing.
“We weren’t going to play Kamala at all, but a girl fouled out and we literally had to put her in there,” Drillers coach Paige Bowman said. “She came in and made three threes in a row.”
Knight was feeling for her teammates as she watched them fight through injuries against Beiseker.
“I didn’t get in until double overtime,” Knight said. “I was really excited to play and I thought I could make a difference for my team. I felt bad that I wasn’t helping my team so I really wanted to do well.”
The Drillers were so banged up they played the final two minutes of the double OT with only four players on the floor. Oilfields led for almost the entire game, but Beiseker had a one-point lead with nine seconds left. Oilfields’ Whitney Boehmer then canned a crucial free throw to force the overtime.
Bowman said the Drillers had to shake up their roster due to Knight’s injury and Mandy Abraham being sick.
“We only had six players at the start of the game and we had posts playing guard positions,” Bowman said. “It was definitely a team effort. After that we just played better and better.”
The Drillers then downed the Didsbury Dragons 58-42 in the semifinal. Oilfields post Riel Lowry was given a tall order for the game — guard the Dragons six-foot-three post Anna Houtman.
“It was difficult but it was good to know I was helping my team out,” said the five-foot-nine Lowry. “Mr. Ovens (co-coach Jeff Ovens) and Ms. Bowman told me I had to cover her.
“I was glad they had the confidence in me to do it, but I was nervous.”
She had some motivation as she was one of the Drillers who fouled out in the overtime against Beiseker.
“I felt like I had let my team down and I had to try extra hard in the second game,” Lowry said.
Lowry held the Didsbury post to just eight points, while contributing six points in the Drillers’ victory.
“We had Riel front her the whole game and she completely shut her down,” Bowman said, adding the Didsbury post had more than 20 points in the Dragons’ tournament opener.
The Drillers entered the final on a high after the two emotional victories. Ovens and Bowman talked to each player one-on-one before the final against Hugh Sutherland.
Whatever they told them, the coaches should record it — it would sell better than a Tony Robbins motivational speech.
The Drillers jumped out to an 18-6 lead and never looked back in cruising to the 30-point victory.
“Whitney had possibly her best game of the year with four threes,” Bowman said. “She was playing point guard, which isn’t her normal position but we wanted to protect Kamala, who usually plays guard.”
The good news for the Drillers is they earned a spot to provincials for the third consecutive year. The bad news is the 2A girls provincials is about a 14-hour bus trip away.
The provincials are in La Crete, which if it was any further north could have a starting five named Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, Dasher and Comet. As a result of the expense and travel, the Drillers have opted not to go to provincials.
The Drillers were seeded ninth out of 12 teams at provincials.
Zone 2 boys
A pair of foothills schools was bridesmaids at the 2A South Central Zone playdowns in Strathmore last weekend.
The Strathcona-Tweedsmuir Spartans (STS) Senior boys were beaten 76-67 by the Holy Cross Collegiate Hawks in the final Saturday afternoon settling for the silver.
“We were up by as much as nine in the second half but we just couldn’t hang on,” STS coach Jeff Petersen said.
The Oilfields Drillers took home the bronze medal in zones, beating the Banff Bears in the third-place game. The Drillers opened the tournament by beating Hugh Sutherland 71-68. They then lost to the eventual champion Holy Cross Collegiate (HCC) by just three points.
“We were down by as much as 19 in the first half and even had a lead with about 50 seconds to go,” said Drillers head coach Joe Perrault. “They took a three-point lead, and we put up a prayer and it didn’t go in.”
They then won the bronze medal by downing Banff by 20.
“I am really proud at the way we have come around this year,” Perrault said. “We really gave HCC a scare.”