The senior Lakers boy’s basketball season came to a halt after they were dealt an 64-75 loss by the visiting Wetaskwin Sabres.
“I think we were too complacent,” Grade 11 guard Noah Lehto said. “We knew we had the tools to get it done but I think we were too happy to be up by five at the half. We let that get to us.”
The Lakers saw a 39-35 lead going to the second half and looked to be in the driver’s seat before Wetaskwin guard, Chad Majek went for 19 points in the third quarter.
“He’s a great player. We were so focused on getting to him that we didn’t get to their other players,” Lehto said. “That hurt us.”
Grade 12 forward for the Laker’s, Liam Pafford added “Our practise yesterday was focused on shutting him down and I think we focused too much on that. We didn’t have the right hustle; the right tenacity.”
The Lakers first half drive was led by the enthusiasm of the home crowd
“I think coming out in front of our fans was good for us,” Pafford said. “The second half, I think we thought too much about winning and not enough about the game.”
“It hurts,” Lehto added. “We had the pieces to go far and it hurts to not get where we wanted to go. We will be back next year.”
Pafford, who played his last game as a Laker, thoroughly enjoyed being a leader on the young Laker squad.
“There’s nothing to do really other than prep these other guys for next season,” Pafford said, adding he will be joining the Laker coaching staff next year.
“I loved the team,” he said. “I loved every minute of it. They are like little brothers to me.”
Lehto is looking forward to 2018, where he will lead a veteran squad with high hopes of making the 2018 3A provincials.
“We will be coming out and not taking anything for granted,” he said. “We can’t be satisfied with what we had. We were top ten in the province and we were satisfied with that. We can’t let it stop here and we can’t be satisfied.”
He added that the program is in great hands and is going “straight up.” Pafford said the Lakers won’t be taking any losses next year. Lehto reinforced how much work the Lakers put in this season.
“Even though the score doesn’t reflect it, we left everything out on the floor,” he said. “We won as a team and we lost as a team. Tonight we lost as a team.”