Making a difference

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald Alex Soyko of the Carlton Crusaders controls the ball while being surrounded by the St. Mary Marauders during a game at the Kelly Smith “Big 12” Memorial Tournament last weekend.

A battle between two crosstown rivals will have a much bigger meaning to it Tuesday night.

The Carlton Crusaders and St. Mary Marauders senior girls’ basketball teams will take to the court at St. Mary School at 7 p.m. as the Marauders will host the “Swish for a Cure” game that will see all proceeds go the Prince Albert Victoria Hospital Foundation.

“We got invited to take part in the game that the North Battleford Vikings hosted a year ago and now we’re paying it forward,” Marauders coach Dwayne Gareau said. “We’ve invited the Crusaders to take part in the evening and we’ll be paying for their pink jerseys that they will wear when they host the Pink Game next year, just like the Vikings did for us last year.”

“This is the first time that I’ve been involved in an evening like this and I think it’s fantastic to see everyone coming together to help out our community,” Crusaders coach Kelsey Pearson added. “My dad (Richard Rink) is the longtime coach at Wynyard and they were one of the first teams to be involved in the game, so he gave me a really good idea of everything that’s involved with it and what to expect.”

The funds from the game, which will also include a silent auction and a halftime performance from local dance studios, will go towards purchasing Continuous Ambulatory Delivery Device (CADD) pumps that help cancer patients receive medication during their treatments.

“Malcolm Jenkins has come forward and will match whatever we raise to help towards the CADD pumps, so to have his support and everyone else in the community has been awesome,” Gareau said. “It should be a really memorable evening.”

The Marauders brought out their pink jerseys for the first time this past Friday on their home court, as they took on the Crusaders during a quarter-final game of the Kelly Smith “Big 12” Memorial Tournament.

“We really wanted to raise more awareness for the event, so we felt like it would be a good time to bring the uniforms out,” Gareau said. “We’re still shirts and accepting donations for the evening, but we want people to know that they should get to the gym a bit before the game starts at 7 p.m., as we expect it to be well-attended.”

Although the home tournament didn’t quite go the Marauders way as they ended up in the consolation round, the team is looking to build on their consistency for the remainder of the season, starting with a tournament in Regina this weekend.

“Our girls are a little bit on the younger side when it comes to on-court experience, so our biggest thing right now is just finding a balance and having a good showing against the top teams in the province,” Gareau said.

“We did the small things well at home, but we still need to have a complete game. I think going down to Regina should help with that, especially as we play the defending provincial 5A champions (the LeBoldus Golden Suns) on their home court.”

Meanwhile, the Crusaders are coming off a fourth place result this past weekend, as they lost in the bronze medal game to the Melfort Comets.

“Even though we won a tournament down in Swift Current earlier this year, I thought this was our best weekend of the season,” Pearson said. “We were playing as a team and we were playing with confidence.

“It seemed like everything was clicking for us and hopefully this is just the start of a strong push for the girls as we get ready for the Moose Jaw Invitational Tournament this weekend.”

Tickets to Tuesday’s game are $5 for adults and $2 for students, while children 12 years of age or under will get in for free.