The McLeod Series starts tonight in Weyburn, with the Estevan Comprehensive School Elecs hoping to regain the form that led them to the 2014-2017 series titles.
The senior boys are coming off a big weekend series victory for the team.
“Last weekend we were in Yorkton and won that tournament and we beat Yorkton, which is always an accomplishment in their own gym,” said Elecs boys assistant coach Trevor Dutka. “Our goal was always improving throughout the season and that’s what we have been doing.”
For those unfamiliar with the McLeod Series, Weyburn and Estevan’s high schools will play a two game total points series at both of their gyms in February. The series has noisy gyms and buzzer beater shots
The series is a big thing for both towns and both schools, Dutka said. Focusing on the team’s game rather than the noisy crowds will be important.
“We’ve tried to get the guys to relax a little bit and just play their style of basketball game,” Dutka said. “Shoot the ball well, play some good defence and we’ll be fine.”
The Elecs boys have played the Eagles three times and won all three games, including a win in their tournament in Yorkton last weekend.
The Elecs girls, meanwhile, will start their game at 7:30 p.m. and have less experience than the boys. The Elecs are rebuilding, said girls head coach Jessie Smoliak.
“Especially receiving silver at Hoopla,” said Smoliak, who doesn’t have any seniors on her team this year. “The girls have so much passion and they’re so energized. We’re actually taking that with us in the game, with how much energy they do have.
“We haven’t played Weyburn yet this year but we’ve seen them at a couple of tournaments. They’re pretty athletic and they have done well, and we know that going into our game.”
The Elecs girls won’t be changing their game plan for the Eagles.
“I think if we start focusing on what they’re doing it’s going to take us out of our element,” she said.
The girls won’t have a lot of experience in dealing with loud and unfriendly crowds for the series.
“A lot of the girls that I’ve brought up from the junior team have helped out scorekeeping or have been at the games at the McLeod Series here in Estevan and in Weyburn and in previous years, so they do know a bit about what’s been going on,” she said.
The series continues Wednesday night at the ECS gym.