Marauders making moves for Hoopla

St. Mary Marauders grade 12 point guard Shay Swystun (center) says she and her teammates are motivated to play for a provincial title on their home court, when P.A. hosts Hoopla in late March. -- Evan Radford/Daily Herald

As the St. Mary Marauders senior girls’ basketball team nears the end of its regular season, its players and coach have an eye to the post-season and the chance to play for a provincial championship on their home court.

Prince Albert is this year’s host site of Hoopla, Saskatchewan’s provincial high school basketball tournament, which runs from March 22 to March 25; games will be played at St. Mary High School, Carlton High School and Saskatchewan Polytechnic.

The tournament will see the province’s top high school teams in all age groups and both genders.

For the senior girls side of the championship tournament, there will be seven teams vying for the provincial crown. Only two of those teams will be rural-based (i.e. outside of the major cities of Regina and Saskatoon).

For Marauders head coach Dwayne Gareau, that means his squad needs to use weekend tournament play to build up its win-loss record and earn a high ranking for Hoopla’s regional qualification play, which happens the weekend prior to Hoopla.

The Marauders – and its crosstown rival, the Carlton Crusaders – will use that regional qualification play to contend for a spot at Hoopla.

“The depth outside the cities this year is really good. There are seven of us this year … and really, any number of those teams on any given day have a chance,” Gareau said.

For more on this story, please see the Jan. 19 print edition or e-edition of the Daily Herald.