Medicine Hat News

Sr. Colts basketball teams look to continue shared success

Colts Sr. boys and girls basketball teams head to 3A provincials in Strathmore Thursday

JAMES TUBB Twitter: ReporterTubb

For the second time in 15 years the Monsignor McCoy Colts boys and girls basketball teams have won zones and are off to provincials.

Both Colts’ teams punched their tickets to the 3A provincials this weekend in Strathmore with their zone title wins last weekend. It’s almost routine for the Colts’ girls team, coming off a provincials appearance and 12 of the last 16 non-COVID impacted seasons. They enter provincials as the 10th seed and will face seventh seed St. Albert Catholic Thursday.

The Colts’ boys team won zones in 2022 and competed at provincials, they enter this years tournament ranked ninth and will take on the eight seed St. Joseph.

Janice Laing has been at the helm of the Colts girls basketball team for 16 seasons. Heading into familiar territory for herself in provincials, with two bronze, five silver and a 2017 gold in her trophy case. She says her team has found another level in the last half of the season.

“This was not really a group that I anticipated getting out of the South zone because the South zone is always tough,” Laing said. “But my girls really, really kicked up their intensity and their focus and their everything in the last month of the season here. They really have turned the corner and

I’m really happy, I’m excited for them.”

Having had that provincials experience before, Laing hopes they can just play their game and she says the results will follow. She’s learned over the years the medals are always a positive but she says it takes a special team to get to provincials.

“Every time I’ve had kids that get provincials, I’ve always had such wonderful kids where I can look at my medals and I have no idea where they came from. But I can look at years and be like, that was this kid’s year and this kids year and they were fantastic,” Laing said. “So I don’t really have anything to say, I just want us to play well, represent our school and the city in a good way.”

As for the Colts senior boys, head coach BJ Melle thought it would be a rebuilding season for his young group with only four returning playing having suited up at the varsity level before. He says this year’s team is one of the hardest working he’s coached in his 22 years.

“I’ve had lots of great kids and some good teams go through here but this group, they aren’t the most skilled, not the biggest group of kids in terms of size but they work extremely hard,” Melle said. “There’s no egos on the team, they all get along regardless of their role and they go out and they cheer on each other. So they’ve been a pleasure to coach.”

He says it’s special for both of the Colts’ senior teams to win zones the same year and get to cheer one another on at provincials.

“It’s definitely a nice opportunity because honestly, most athletes don’t get to experience going to provincials,” Melle said.





Alberta Newspaper Group