By Karlene Skretting
Westwind Weekly News
Over the weekend, the Magrath Zeniths travelled to Jasper Place High School to participate in the 4A ASAA basketball provincials. They left for Edmonton seeded eighth, but returned to Magrath Sunday with fourth place hardware following a disappointing 103-94 loss to LCI.
“The kids came together and played really well as a team, the teamwork was excellent,” said head coach Allen Gallup, adding that finishing fourth in Alberta was exemplary.
Though the Zeniths were unable to upset LCI all season, Gallup said Saturday could have easily been a different story if the Zeniths never got themselves into early foul trouble, forcing some of the stronger boys to sit on the bench and not play as aggressively as normal.
Tim McMahon led the losing effort with 40 points, 10 assists and seven steals, assisted by 24 points from Austin Bennett. Carter Hansen had 11 points, 10 rebounds and nine blocked shots.
“Our three main guys played very well, both offensively and defensively.”
Senior Morgan Broadhead was unable to dress and play at provincials because of a late season injury, and his presence was greatly missed on the court, noted Gallup.
The biggest accomplishment of the weekend was knocking Ross Sheppard out of medal contention, winning 89-80 in overtime no less, thanks to a strong Zeniths defence.
“To knock out the number one team, which we weren’t suppose to be able to do was awesome.”
Despite a strong effort, the Zeniths lost their semifinal game to Cardston 75-63, it was a matchup Gallup expected to win going into the tournament, “but it seemed like the basket had a lid on it” and Magrath just couldn’t score at times.
Five seniors will be graduating including Austin Bennett, Carter Hansen, Morgan Broadhead, Nick Perks and Tim McMahon.
With a large group of strong grade 11s to lead the team next year and some talented new recruits, Gallup is optimistic that with hard work the Zeniths will be a strong team again next year.