Mustangs are league champs

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The Highwood High School Mustangs senior girls’ basketball team are league champions after a 66-34 win against Strathmore High School in the Foothills Athletic Council League Finals.

The finals were played on Mar.2 at Holy Trinity Academy.

In league regular season play, the Mustangs lost to Strathmore on Dec. 17, 57-48, and then beat them 53-39 on Jan. 20.

Mustangs coach Ryan Hayden believes the finals game was their best game of the year.

“I thought our energy start to finish was super high,” he said.

“I thought our execution was good. Strathmore generally forces a lot of errors and turnovers and we didn’t turn the ball over and that definitely helped us.”

“I also thought we controlled our rebounds very well and played great defense not allowing them to have many good shot opportunities.”

To get to the finals. Highwood played Strathcona Tweedsmuir in the semi’s and the Mustangs carried their great play from the regular season (7-1) into the playoffs with a convincing 52-31 win.


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This game was a challenge for the Mustangs, but they pulled through.

“They came out with a full-court press from start to finish and we made a few more errors then we wanted, but energy wise we were great,” said Hayden.

“We were maybe a little rusty having a week break from school, but I thought we played well.”

Next up for the Mustangs is zones, which will be very difficult to win with five good teams who can win it according to coach Hayden. It is also very tough to qualify for provincials this year for 3A schools from the South Central Zone, because only the winner of the zone finals will advance.

Highwood has the number 1 seed going into zones, which will be played at Cochrane High School after every team’s first match. (The Mustangs played George McDougall or Springbank on Mar.7, but results were not available at press time)

On Mar. 8 in Cochrane, if the Mustangs won their game on Mar. 7, they will play the winner of #4 seed Cochrane or #5 seed Strathmore in the semi-finals.

“I think if we play at the level we played at in our league finals, we have as good of a chance as anyone to win this,” said Hayden.

“It’s not going to be easy however, as everyone is playing their best at this time of year and it’s going to be a tough challenge.”

The winner of the 3A South Central Zones will get a chance to compete at provincials against Alberta’s other top 3A senior girls’ basketball teams in Athabasca from Mar. 14-16.

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