By Garrett Simmons
Westwind Weekly News
A dominating defensive effort helped the Magrath Pandas earn the championship in the team’s home tournament on the weekend.
Magrath capped things off with a decisive 74-31 win over Cardston the championship game, as the Pandas went the entire weekend without allowing 50 points in a game.
Lauren Payne finished with 20 in the final game, which helped her earn offensive most valuable player honours for the tournament. Jenna Taylor had 15 points and Lucy Wilde, the tournament defensive MVP, added 13.
Magrath earned a trip to the final with a 78-40 win in the semifinal over the Stirling Lakers. Montana Berezay had 23 for Magrath, while Wilde added 14.
Sadie Nelson scored 20 for Stirling, as tournament all-star Savannah McKee put up 13 points.
Magrath’s opening game was just as dominant, as the Pandas took an 81-49 win over the McCoy Colts. Payne had 22 in the win, as Taylor and Wilde and 18 and 14 points, respectively.
Stirling started its weekend with a 77-64 win over Catholic Central, thanks to 32 from McKee and 26 from Nelson.
As the semifinal loss, the Lakers dropped an 85-62 decision to Foothills in the bronze-medal game. McKee had 25 in that game, while Nelson chipped in with 16.
The Pandas (10-0) are back in league action Friday, as Winston Churchill (0-10) will travel to Magrath for a 6 p.m. game. Magrath will also host the Raymond Comets (7-3) Saturday at 5 p.m. Raymond will also host Medicine Hat (5-5) Friday with a 6 p.m. tip-off.
In boys league play, Magrath (1-8) will host Winston Churchill (3-6) Friday at 8 p.m. Saturday, the Zeniths will host Raymond (6-3) in a 7 p.m. contest. Raymond also has a Friday home date set with Medicine Hat (7-2) at 8 p.m.
Stirling’s senior boys and girls teams will not play in Deep South Basketball league competition again until Feb. 27, when the two Lakers teams take on Willow Creek. The boys lead the league with a 4-1 record, while the girls sport a 6-0 record.