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League basketball season about to tip off

Senior girls took first place while the boys placed second during tournaments in Rocky Mountain House the weekend of Nov. 27
MVT Olds senior girls basketball 2021
The École Olds High School senior girls basketball team recently won a tournament in Rocky Mountain House. From left: front row, Aza Korver, Brynlee Rice, Nicole Van Ginkel and Amber Neilsen. Back row, from left: Co-coach Avery Harrison, Kara Longmuir, Sharlese Weigum, Keaton Chrest, Kassie Billings, Ava Rosch, Sana Mirza, Davina Merritt, Ali Mertens and co-coach Tom Christensen. Submitted photo

OLDS — League play for the École Olds High School (ÉOHS) senior girls basketball team begins Dec. 8 when they tip off against Olds Koinonia Christian School (OKCS) in OKCS. 

Their first home game occurs the following week versus Hugh Sutherland School from Carstairs.   

Coaches Tom Christensen and Avery Harrison (who have a combined 74 years of coaching experience at the high school and college level) are looking forward to league action with this year’s team after COVID restrictions limited things last season.    

“They have a nice combination of speed and size and really will be tough to beat as the season goes on,” Christensen wrote in an email. 

He noted that, led by four grade 12s — Alli Mertens, Brynlee Rice, Keaton Chrest, and Amber Nielsen — the team has “a nice mix of grade 12s and younger-grade athletes.” 

The Spartans are coming off a highly successful tournament in Rocky Mountain House last weekend where they emerged as champions. The senior boys took second place in a tournament that same weekend, also held in Rocky Mountain House. 

They got off to a tough start in that tournament, dropping their first game against Sturgeon Composite from the St. Albert area by 15 points. 

However, because a team dropped out, the Spartans were able to play a second game in that first round against Charles Spencer from Grande Prairie.  

The Spartans “improved dramatically over the weekend,” Christensen wrote as they steamrolled over Charles Spencer 55-15, then 51-36 in the semi-final versus William E Hay of Stettler. 

That sent them into the final against Rocky Mountain House, who had defeated Sturgeon in the other semi-final.    

In that game, the Spartans led most of the way and ended up with a 58-52 win.