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March Madness scores with hosts

By April 6, 2022No Comments
Jack Kemp Jaguars (grey) hosted a team from College Park in the first game of the grades 5-6 boys 3-on-3 basketball championship last Thursday. Winston Churchill hosted the girls’ championship. Geoff Lee Meridian Source

 

The Lloydminster Public School Division (LPSD) held its own version of March Madness rolled into the final day of the month.

Winston Churchill School hosted the girls’ Grades 5-6 basketball championship with Jack Kemp Community School being the venue for the boys’ event for those grades.

“It’s 3-on-3, so it’s a little bit different,” said Jack Kemp, principal Elena Brand, with play underway Thursday afternoon in the school gym.

“It’s designed for our kids to get multiple touches on the ball, lots of chances to shoot and learning beginning defence and offence.”

Brand noted it was also the first LPSD sport they’ve been able to play in two years.

“We haven’t won in basketball. We’re excited we’re itching for a win. We can’t wait,” said Brand.

She picked the host Jaguars, coached by teachers Joanne Park and Stephanie Groat, as her tournament favourite after they beat out a team she coaches for the right to represent the school.   

“If a school had multiple teams, they did a play-off to get out of their school,” she explained.

The Jaguars will have to put their hoop dreams on hold until next year, however, as College Park claimed the trophy with a 53-39 win over the Jaguars.

Rendell Park won the bronze over Winston Churchill.

Torrie Oliver, vice principal at Winston Churchill, was stoked to be able to host the girls’ championship.

“You can sort of feel the excitement in the air here,” she said prior to tip-off.

“It is a big deal, even to have community members come in and watch their children again play sports,” said Oliver.

She said they were lucky to host the first tournament in two years with their school’s Wildcats in the mix.

“It’s elementary March Madness for sure,” said Oliver, who couldn’t pick a winner.

“It’s sort of anybody’s game. Of course, I feel pretty strong that Winston Churchill’s going to come out on top, but it’s open to anybody. It’s really meant to be developmental.”

The tournament included round-robin play and then playoffs, with some of the Wildcats players like 10-year-old Hannah dealing with butterflies.

“I’m kind of nervous because there’s so many games we’re going to have and there’s finals and medals,” she said.

Her 10-year-old teammate Kaidyn was also feeling like a cat on a hot tin roof.

“I feel excited and a little nervous,” she said. 

Wildcats coach Marie Groenink took it all in stride, noting it was exciting to host the tournament and see all the new faces.

“It’s great that the kids get to come out and play against other people; it’s awesome,” she said, describing the tournament as more participation-based with medals awarded.

The team from Queen Elizabeth won the girls’ title 58-28 over Rendell Park.

Jack Kemp won the bronze over College Park.