Drillers can’t slay Dragons
Basketball: Misplaced ranking comes back to haunt Oilfields
By: Bruce Campbell
| Posted: Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 06:00 am
The Oilfields Drillers didn’t get the luck of the draw at a basketball tournament last weekend
The Drillers took home the bronze medal by downing the Hanna Hawks March 15 in Gleichen at the 2A South Central Zones Senior high school girls basketball tourney. However, a better seeding could have got them in the finals.
“We ended up beating Hanna by 30 (57-28) to win the bronze and after the game some of the officials came up and said: ‘hey you guys should have been in the final,’” said Drillers head coach Paige Bowman. “We were definitely in the top two.
“But because we had played so many 3A and 4A teams during the regular season, they didn’t know where to rank us for zones.”
As a result the Drillers were a five-seed. They proved right away something was askew when they clobbered the no. 4 seed Sundre in their opening game on March 14.
Then the bad seeding kicked in as they had to try and slay the no. 1 seed in the semifinal on March 15.
Oilfields was beaten by the Didsbury Dragons in the semifinals.
“They are a big team — it seemed like their average height was about six-feet,” Bowman said. “We did really well against them.”
The Drillers hung with the Dragons — the no. 7 ranked team in the province — until the final five minutes of the game.
“We did really well against them,” Bowman said. “There were some points of the game where we were leading and then we were within five of them until the final four minutes of the game.
“Then our defence fell apart.”
The Dragons took full advantage and the Drillers’ chances of going to provincials by winning zones were dowsed by Didsbury.
Bowman said it was good to have the team’s season end on a somewhat positive note by taking third place.
The Drillers’ nine players showed plenty of heart.
Kamala Knight returned after a lengthy lay-off from a concussion but Bowman took no chances and gave her limited minutes at shooting guard.
Jenna Thomson saw plenty of action in the tournament, coming back from a serious ankle injury in a game after the Christmas break. She averaged 16 points a game in Gleichen.
Bowman said Harley Tucker was a consistent offensive threat as well in the tourney.
“Kalene Lillico dominated the boards in every game,” Bowman said. “In the final game she almost had a double-double with 12 defensive rebounds and nine steals.”
The future looks bright for the Drillers as they return six of nine players in 2014-15.
The Oilfields boys team finished fourth in zones at Drumheller.