The Eckville High School’s senior womens’ Aces basketball team began 2017 on their home court with an important 59-28 win over Parkview.
The win continues a very promising season for the Aces, who are playing with five grade nine players on their team and only one grade 12.
“I don’t know where we’ll end up but right now it’s pretty promising,” said Ace’s head coach Cody Magneson after the win.
The Aces are winning due in large part to their keen ability to create turnovers from a variety of different defensive schemes. “It was our first time trying out our 1-3-1 zone – it went pretty well,” Magneson said. “We’re hoping to play some of the top teams in the province. You never know how that will go so it’s good to have a couple looks. We love our man to man, we have a good 2-3 zone and a new pretty decent 1-3-1 zone also.”
Aces guard Virnise Castro – who finished with 23 points on the night – was pleased with the blowout victory and felt it was a good learning game for the ladies.
“We worked as a team and listened to our coach,” she said. “We worked on things we needed to work on – it was a really good learning game.”
With the Aces defence creating so many turnovers, the offence came easy – however Coach Magneson has stressed the girls continue to push the ball up court. “Our whole offense is run and gun offense. We want make quick plays and get easy baskets,” he said.
Luckily for the Aces, when running the ball doesnt work they have two fundamentally sound posts – Delaini Gillett and Casey Belway – who finsihed with 11 and 12 points respectively.
In fact, the entire Aces squad excels at the fundamentals of the game – thanks in large part to the extra hours in the gym.
“I can’t say enough great things about these girls,” Magneson said. “A lot of them played spring league and they have put in countless hours in camps. Casey Belway has been working with the college coach at RDC. They put in the time.”
“We have benn really working hard in the mornings,” Castro said. “We have a saying ‘We do it for each other. Not for ourselves.’ It gives us confidence and that’s how we were able to get our shots.”
Shooting, however, is one element of the game that Magneson wants his squad to focus on.
“We need to become a better shooting team,” he said. “Last night we shot a lot – which is the beginning of having a good shooting team. Eventually we will start hitting a few more and won’t have to rely so much on our post players.”
Once the Aces lock down their shooting game, it is very likely that they will be able to go deep into the 1A playoffs in Alberta.
“We really want to make it to zones and then to provincials,” Castro said.