Bashaw School’s basketball program has seen such growth in recent years that the team is becoming a force to be reckoned with.
The senior boys held their home tournament over the weekend, Feb. 8 to 9, to a strong turnout of fans and competitors.
Speaking specifically to their first game against Castor’s Gus Wetter team, Coach Kyle McIntosh said he helped push the team to get out of a slow start. That push helped the team win 65-61.
During the third quarter the team was down by double digits, so McIntosh changed their defense from zone to man-on-man. There were some mixed results.
“On the down side we allowed a 13-point deficit to emerge from that,” he said. “But the plus is we realized that our guys were lagging that whole game.”
What ended up happening is the team got its energy up, it forced the other team to work harder, and the Rebels got back into the game. “More than anything it started wearing down Castor because they weren’t sweating the first half.”
The whole purpose of changing up the defensive strategy worked. The Rebels switched back to their “tried and true” zone defense and the team started coming back.
“They need that spirit and intensity,” said McIntosh, adding that the Rebels were able to learn and adapt.
Historically, the teams have a healthy rivalry typically playing against each other about three times a year. “Even last year we opened our home tournament against Castor.”
The basket that really helped the team win was a big three-pointer by player Connor Dancy who has been taking it easy due to a recent injury.
The eight-team Oregon draw tournament is about helping the Rebels prepare for the final stretch of league games before areas. “This is our last chance to really tweak the formula.”
“Let’s find out what’s working, let’s adjust the things that aren’t and let’s get ready to battle those four teams,” explained McIntosh. He pointed out that of the 15 top ranked teams, the four that they have left to play are in their area.
Those teams are Forestburg, Hay Lakes, New Norway and Ryley. It’s all about keeping a path open to provincials, something hasn’t been a possibility for the Rebels until recently.
To make a spot at provincials, the Rebels will head into areas, then zones and finally provincials.
McIntosh added his thanks to Mrs. Resler who has taken on the role of assistant coach. Her skills have helped the team grow.
“We’ve kind of gone from the bottom of the league fairly reliably, to contenders,” he said, adding that applies to all the sports.