The EDSS senior boys’ basketball team pulled ahead early in their game against Galt Collegiate Tuesday afternoon. In one brilliant play, Scott Albrecht nearly levitated over the end line to throw the ball back in bounds. A quick pass and it was in the hands of Chad Frey, who drained a three-point shot from the top of the arc.
But Galt wasn’t going down so easily; the team cranked up the heat in the second half of the game, eventually winning 57 to 35.
Coach Brian Carter said frankly that the Lancers aren’t out to win the championship this year. Only three or four players returned from last year’s team, and this will be a rebuilding year.
“It’s a young team as far as experience, so they’re just learning the game,” Carter said. “It’s tough playing in a league where we’re playing against some pretty experienced players.”
Frey and Albrecht are two of Carter’s key players this season. They’re easy to pick out on the court; they – and fellow starter Mark Bauman – are the ones wearing the knee-high socks in Lancer colours, one white leg and one green leg.
Frey is the team’s point guard, and a natural leader on the floor, Carter said. Albrecht leads the team in scoring, with 60 points to his name so far this season. Another key player is the other starting forward, Eric Alderdice.
The senior Lancers have yet to win a game this season; their best result so far is a 64-56 loss to Eastwood. Carter said the team’s defence is improving every game, but it’s still an area they have to focus on.
“This is a tough league to join. I commend them for taking something on where you’re playing basketball for the first time in your life and then having to play against players who’ve been playing for 10 years.
“I think they realize that they’re not as strong as the other teams but they’re actually eager to learn and they do try to get better every game. And that’s all I can ask for.”
The story is much the same with the junior squad, where only three players returned from last year. Those three returning players – Brandon Seip, Scott Shea and Andrew Brubacher – are the core group Finnie is looking to for leadership on a young team.
“Some of our Grade 9s from last year aren’t on the team for various reasons, so we’ve got a lot of players that are playing basketball for the first time,” said Finnie.
“Like the seniors, we’re trying to work on fundamental skills and learning, teaching the basics of basketball. They’re a very athletic group and once they get the fundamentals down, they can put that all together and compete.”
The juniors have one win under their belts, which was a huge morale booster and showed the players their hard work can pay off, Finnie said. It’s also an improvement over last year’s performance, when the junior team went winless all season.
Finnie noted that it will take some time to build up the basketball program.
“Our program’s one that’s hurting right now … A lot of kids are playing hockey instead of playing basketball because that’s what kind of rules around here. It’s tough when you’re losing a lot to have the motivation to keep coming out, but they’re a great group of students who are eager to learn and they’re working hard … hopefully they can see that progression over the year.”