The junior high boy and girl teams from Calgary clawed through the parallel running tournaments on Friday and Saturday (Dec. 13-14), coming away with victories over the Canmore Wolverines, Banff Bears and Our Lady of the Snows Avalanche.
In the boys’ final, the Wolverines tested the Wildcats formidable starting lineup. It was the two teams’ first competitive game of the tournament, and Wolverines forward Ethan Fisher’s offensive attack puzzled the visitors as he lead all scorers early in the game.
However, foul trouble bit down on the Wolverines, including Fisher, which slowed down the home team in the second and third quarters.
“Three of our starters got four fouls in the first half, so we were forced to sit out [a lot of] the second half and that definitely put us in a tough situation,” said Wolverines coach Oliver Wald.
At five personal fouls, a player is ejected from the game, and once fouls piled up on the Wolverines, so did players challenging the refs’ calls.
“Attitude is something we’re trying to work on with these guys,” Wald said. “We know as coaches refs are going to miss calls all the time and these players need to learn that and they need to conduct themselves in a cordial, polite manner and a conversation instead of a confrontation.”
The Wolverines ended up losing 59-45, but Wald called the game a good learning experience for the team.
“We played really well throughout the entire tournament and in that last game we played up to the competition and our defence was hard to beat,” Wald said.
In the girls’ final, the Wildcats easily blew over the St. Francis of Assisi Storm, 40-10, to claim top prize.
OLS finished third and the Canmore Wolverines finished fourth.
“Our squad is pretty young and pretty small, so we were happy with placing third out of the four teams,” wrote Trevor Goodfellow, coach of the Avalanche's Grade 8-9 team.