Tough D leads Crusaders past Bears

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Crusader Fiona Messier scored a game-high 12 points as Canmore Collegiate defeated the Banff Bears 46-21 on Saturday (March 3) at Banff Community High School.

The victory locked up fifth place for Canmore in the two-day senior girls basketball tournament after they beat local rivals Our Lady of the Snows Avalanche and then Banff in the consolation game.

Canmore’s active, hands-on defence pestered the smaller Bears on the hardwood, forcing missed shots and turnovers through 40 minutes. The Bears’ offensive woes were highlighted by a scoreless first quarter.

“Our defence was good. It’s better than our offence,” said Messier.

Canmore’s height advantage aided the taller club to own the glass at both ends and gave the young women additional second and third chance opportunities to sink some buckets.

The Crusaders held a healthy lead throughout the contest and showed no signs of its steady offensive production slowing down.

“We did good, we spread out well compared to this game and were just better overall,” Messier said.

The Bears were pushed to the three-point line by the bigger Canmore team and were limited in generating an inside game with shot blockers Grace Pigott, Mikeala Holthuis and Jenni Booth looming near the rim.

Banff broke its goose egg during the first play of the second quarter off a Pam Retuerma running floater.

“We had a slow start and sometimes we can’t get baskets,” said Grade 12 Bear Retuerma. She scored a team-high five points.

“I think we did good on our defence and improved on our shooting a lot and (our) drives.”

The Avalanche were punched early from the tournament and finished seventh.

Up next, the Crusaders and Bears challenge some of the best in the area at zones this weekend (March 9-10) in Strathmore.

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Rocky Mountain Outlook