Wednesday, 13 March 2013 14:52

Great Plains College ready to host PAC provincials this weekend

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The Prairie Athletic Conference’s men’s and women’s basketball teams will venture to southwest Saskatchewan to decide who are the kings and queens of Saskatchewan college hoops.

Mary Jane Benesh, Great Plains College (GPC) athletic co-ordinator. said the Swift Current campus is ready to host basketball provincials.
It’s understandably been a bit of a battle in more ways than one, but they have pulled it together with a lot of hard work and co-operation.
“It’s a lot of work to host provincials,” noted Benesh who probably has used a telephone a lot more than normal recently. “It’s been a little tricky.”
They needed to get some sanctioned referees for the event. However, this weekend turned out to be some bad timing as regional basketball tournaments are taking place across the province. However, local teams involved in the regional tournaments found out only as of March 11 how they were placed provincially and this ranking determines whether or not they are hosting.
With only four sanctioned referees in Swift Current, they indicated they were committed to officiating the area’s high-school events. As it turned out, only two southwest communities wound up hosting playoffs this weekend. In the meantime, Benesh had to ensure she had referees, so she brought in some from Moose Jaw instead with only one referee being from Swift Current.
She also got help from Scott Mayo, one of the local junior varsity coaches, and has some of his team members to do score and timekeeping at the games, so that’s covered.
She said the college also couldn’t get the use of the spacious gymnasium at O.M. Irwin School until later in the day on March 15, so they had to move some games to Millar College of the Bible in nearby Pambrun.
“Kevin (Peters, Millar’s athletic co-ordinator) said they could host provincials at the last minute just in case something happened (with GPC),” explained Benesh. Fortunately, Great Plains College were able to get organized and it looks like all systems are go.
Competing on the men’s side will be the host Great Plains College SunDogs, Millar Edge, Palliser Panthers, Bethany Eagles and Kelsey Amaruks. The women’s tournament will consist of Kelsey, Millar, Palliser and the First Nations University of Canada, which is affiliated with the University of Regina.
Games begin at 4 p.m. on the 15th with the SunDogs hosting Millar and wrap up at 7:30 p.m. on the 16th with the men’s gold medal game.
All games will be held at O.M. Irwin School except for three games on the 15th which takes place at Millar College in Pambrun.
Benesh also addressed the issues with the home squad. There hasn’t been a women’s team all year as there were a lack of players. On the men’s side, they decided not to participate in the Prairie Athletics Conference as they didn’t feel they would have enough consistent player participation this year, but still wanted to have an official team.
It hasn’t worked out very well. The head coach drives in from Herbert and Benesh, who drives in from Herbert, noted the weather this winter — especially in January — has been wildly unpredictable.
Snowstorms seemed to have hindered travel in their cases with many games being cancelled. This has caused understandable frustration, disappointment and has contributed to fading interest amongst the players who wanted to compete. One tournament in Moose Jaw seemed to be a major turning point for the worse.
“The Palliser tourney had to be cancelled because of the weather and they were all pretty disappointed,” explained Benesh. “With no league to play in, (and the missed practices/games because of weather), that opens the door to not be as committed.”
The recent Battle of the Southwest in Pambrun wasn’t the traditional match in the sense of the SunDogs only having five of its own players.
The Millar Edge found them a couple of local players who weren’t on the Edge’s roster. Benesh said the SunDogs’ patchwork team lost by 30 points, but the game was still played.
“It certainly wasn’t as intense as it has been in previous years,” noted Benesh.
The team itself has been unable to play much, but will take part this weekend.
“We’ve got seven guys committed to play in the tournament this weekend,” explained Benesh, and added two more want to play and may be added to the roster as the game days approach.


5 p.m.        Millar vs. FNUC (women)
7 p.m.        Palliser vs. Bethany (women)
9 p.m.        Millar vs. Palliser (men)
Saturday, March 16, 2013
9 a.m.        Winner 5 p.m. Friday game vs. Loser 7 p.m. game (women)
10:30 a.m.    Winner 7 p.m. Friday game vs. Loser 5 p.m. game (women)
Noon        Great Plains College vs. Bethany (men)
1:30 p.m.    Palliser vs. Kelsey (men)
3 p.m.        Women’s bronze medal game
4:30 p.m.    Women’s gold medal game
6 p.m.        Men’s bronze medal game
7:30 p.m.    Men’s gold medal game


Read 1974 times Last modified on Wednesday, 13 March 2013 16:12
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