Three Hills were in Drumheller on January 19 to take on the Senior Boys Sabres. It was a grind out game, however the Sabres were able to keep a lid on Three Hills, winning 62-50.
Anthony Merkel had 23 points in the effort, Brandon Gruber had 14 and Alex Cliché had 10. Point guard Matt Russell had eight points after playing the entire 40 minutes of the game.
Coach Gavin Makse was happy the team was able to pull out a win, especially after a poor performance versus Hanna just a week before. There is however much room for improvement as the Sabres move towards the post season.
“We have to finish,” said Makse. He explains that fundamentals such as making lay-ups, boxing out, protecting the ball and a delivering consistent defensive effort were all issues. The Sabres were in double digits for steals, however turnovers outnumbered the lose balls they were able to pick up.
The game did allow the Sabres to work on their offense, and the Sabres were able to work the ball into their low post players where the team had a distinct advantage.
“They played man to man defense which is something we were not used to in the South Central Zone,” said Makse, “but it was good because it forced us into doing what we wanted to do all along, which is to utilize out post game down low with our size advantage.”
Another bright spot for the team was its press. The Sabres were able to create turnovers in the first quarter that gave them an early advantage on the scoreboard.
The win is a building block for team as it heads to a 12-team tournament in Milk River this weekend. The Sabres are first up against St. Mary’s School from Taber on Friday night. They are ranked in third place at the 1A level in the province going into the game. Makse says judging by previous results St. Mary’s is a high scoring team.