The John Paul II Crusaders junior boys basketball team continued their strong season this past weekend, and managed to do it in front of their home fans, winning their home tournament with a perfect 3-0 record.
The Crusaders defeated the Jonas Samson Stingers of Meadow Lake 66-41 in their first game, the North Battleford Comprehensive High School Vikings 49-30 in their second game, and then took down the Holy Rosary Raiders 63-39.
"It was a team effort across the board. It wasn't one player that stood out in particular," Crusaders head coach Nate Jurgens said. "Everyone chipped in offensively and defensively. Across the board, I think they're starting to learn how to play as a team together."
The junior boys are a young team, made up of nine Grade 8's and just four Grade 9's.
Despite that, the team managed an 8-2 record so far this season.
"Not a lot of returners," Jurgens said. "Just a lot of new faces that love to play the game."
Jurgens said although the team has done well so far, they do still need to understand there is room to grow in several aspects of their game.
"In particular, I'd say defensive positioning — that's a big one," he said. "We've still got to work on not getting caught out of position. And then also, just moving more on offence. Getting more ball movement and body movement as well. This upcoming weekend should give us a good test to work on those things."
The junior boys head to Edmonton this weekend for that test, as they'll play in The Big Dawg Classic, which features top teams from the Edmonton metro area.
Jurgens said he expects some stiff competition.
"Hopefully a level up, which is what I'm expecting because the tournament has got teams from Tier I and Tier II in the city," he said. "I definitely expect a lot tougher games for sure."
Other Crusaders teams were also in action over the weekend, as the senior girls cruised through a tournament in Outlook, the junior girls lost to the NBCHS VIkings by a single point in the final game of their home tournament, and the senior boys won bronze at a tournament in Meadow Lake.
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