It’s hard to play the Blues without a full band.
The Holy Trinity Academy Knights put in a gutsy effort in losing to the Paul Kane Blues — the no. 2 team in Alberta — in the bronze medal game of the St. Mary’s Saints Classic senior girls basketball tournament on Saturday in Calgary.
“We were down to only six players because of the terrible road conditions,” said Knights coach Scott Royce. “I was so impressed with how our girls played. They really rose to the occasion.”
Royce was changing his players every 90 seconds to keep his troops as fresh.
“We had two Grade 10 players who basically had to play the entire game,” Royce said of Emily Ostafichuk and Gracie McNichol.
The Blues were forced to press throughout the game as the Knights kept it close before Paul Kane blew things open in the final minutes. Paul Kane took the bronze with the 69-43 victory. All six Knights got on the scoreboard.
McNichol had nine and the Knights leader Jordan Bonertz had 19.
The Knights opened the tournament with a 63-55 victory over the Catholic Central Cougars on Thursday. .
HTA opened up a 23-5 lead.
Bonertz finished with 26 points and Rachel Anderson finished with a dozen.
HTA then took on the host St. Mary’s Saints, who downed the visitors 59-41 on Friday. Skylar Bonertz finished with 10 and older sister Jordan had 29.
Royce said Breanne Trotter was impressive with 16 rebounds and four steals.
The Foothills Falcons were singing the Blues early in the tournament.
They were leading early in the fourth quarter by a deuce only to lose 79-66 to the Blues in both teams opening game on Thursday.
“We ran out of gas,” Hunter said. “We were really closer in the game than the score showed. Their last six points were on foul shots in the last minute because we were trying to get the ball back.”
The loss had the Falcons sounding like that Miles Davis classic — Kind of Blue.
Foothills lost their next game to the William Aberhart Orange, a team the Falcons should have beat according to Hunter.
“I think emotionally that Paul Kane loss took a lot out of us,” Hunter said.
Foothills came home without a victory as they dropped a 53-50 decision to the Mt. Baker Wild in the seventh-place game.
The Knights play the Highwood Mustangs Feb. 7 at 5:30 p.m. in High River.
Both the Knights and the Falcons are playing in the Coyote Howler this weekend at Centennial High School in Calgary.