Four games in the span of about 24 hours proved to be a bit much for the Bashaw Rebels.
The Rebels senior boys basketball squad ended up finishing fourth in the home tournament Feb. 2 and 3 after powering out in their last game — a 72-46 loss to Wainwright.
“We simply ran out of steam. It was our fourth game in a 24-hour span and we looked like a team that had played three hard games,” explained Rebels bench boss Kyle McIntosh.
The Rebels didn’t look rusty in their opening 56-50 victory on the Friday afternoon against Castor, a game which McIntosh saw both the best and worst of his club.
“Against Castor, we came out swinging — employing hard, crisp stretch passes. We made mid-and long-range shots, crashed the boards and ran back hard on defence. In the third quarter, this dropped off as we got complacent and the effort went with it,” he said.
Three players led the charge for the Rebels, each notching double digits on the scoresheet. Andrew Kneeland topped them all with 14 points, while Grant Golinowski chipped in 13 and Jason Resler deposited 12.
McIntosh noted this change of pace has more to do with a lack of experience, especially when ahead in the second half, as opposed to poor conditioning.
“We get wins, but those wins often come in the final quarter where we rally back when other teams falter,” he added.
That win pitted the Rebels against Lacombe Composite’s junior varsity squad in the semi-final and lost 65-47, though the Rebels held their own much of the way versus the much larger school when compared to how Forestburg and Leduc’s Christ the King performed against Lacombe. Golinowski again led Bashaw with 16 with Resler’s 15 as the only other double digit scorer.
“(Lacombe) had an aggressive style and that made it difficult to defend. We ran four different defensive systems and they tore through them all with some tinkering,” McIntosh stated, adding he juggled his players around in hopes of turning things around.
As well as using the tournament to get his team back into a basketball mindset, McIntosh felt these games were important as the Rebels get ready for a string of five league games in February and a run at provincials.
“We want to be in a position to fight our way into zones, so it’s important to experiment, to play with things,” he said.
With just one senior — who is new to Bashaw and the Rebels’ systems — plus a Grade 9 who is playing significant minutes, McIntosh has to look at the bigger picture when it comes to the rest of the season.
“This is only my second year coaching this team. We have a pathway open after posting a big win (90-80 in Ryley Feb. 6),” he said.
Jump shots – The reason Bashaw played four games was due to one team not showing up for the last game on Friday. So, instead of having Wainwright drive in for nothing, McIntosh brought his team back for an exhibition match that Wainwright won 73-57. As for the run at provincials, the Rebels hope to continue that drive as they play host to New Norway tomorrow (Feb. 15) on rivalry night in the 1A Central Alberta League.