Josh Chalmers Multimedia Journalist The Holy Cross Hawks' girls basketball team is hosting zones May 10 and 11 in the HCC gym.
When the Holy Cross Hawks' girls basketball squad head into zones next week they'll be buoyed by recent successes and home court advantage.
The Hawks will be hosting the zone tournament March 10 and 11, bringing the best 2A teams in the zone to the school.
"It's nice to have zones here on our home court," said Head Coach Angela Maclean. "It's a lot less travel for the girls so there's more time to rest. I've hosted a lot of tournaments here and its nice be able to focus on basketball and not the travel."
The team's success this year has been primarily in tournaments with wins at the Bassano Invitational and more recently at Strathcona-Tweedsmuir. Unlike league play, where the team plays against varying sizes of schools, the tournaments have been a truer test of the girl's abilities with the team stacked up against schools their size.
The Hawks will be looking for a repeat of last year's success as well, when the team won JV zones. Unlike last year, if they can repeat their success at the senior level this year they'll be off to provincials. Although a lot of the team's success will hinge on players that are in their first year of high school ball.
"Riley Sangster was our tournament MVP at Strathcona-Tweedsmuir and she's a rookie in Grade 10," said Maclean. "She's an all-around player. I put her at forward, I put her at guard she even runs power forward, post, everything. She's been good both offensively and defensively."
Another rookie, this time to the game not just the team, has also been having some recent success.
"Shannon Stewart's in her first year playing basketball and she just scored her first basket just last weekend at Strathcona-Tweedsmuir," said Maclean. "But she's also been doing well defensively. She's been very vocal, asking a lot of questions and she's learned a lot this year."
Another key for the team will be down on the blocks with big additions from the posts.
"My strong posts Karsyn Fulmek and Maggie Shortt have been pulling out some big numbers," said the coach.
The biggest challenge for the team will be when the opposition ups the pressure and the tempo.
"When other teams are pressuring us we kind of break and we need to be able to get back focused," said Maclean.
Senior girls' zones go this weekend, March 10 and 11, in the Holy Cross gym with the winner guaranteed a spot at provincials and a second spot handed out to zones considered to have a strong group of teams by the Alberta School's Athletic Association.