A whirlwind season for the Kate Andrews senior girls basketball team ended on a high note, thanks to a showing of pride from their Coaldale community.
Co-captains, Emma Canfield and Macey Ball say the underdog team came into highschool zones sitting in eighth place — not an ideal spot to qualify for provincials.
“It came down to us against Myers, and if we win, we go to provincials. If we lost, we’d have one more game and that would be it for the season,” said Canfield.
W. R. Myers High School out of Taber beat the Pride by just two points earlier in the tournament and the Coaldale squad was ready to exact some revenge.
“We wrote on the whiteboard in the change room that hard work beats talent where talent doesn’t work hard,” said Nicole Hannah, head coach. “Every rebound, every loose ball you can get, that could be the difference today, and I think they really took that to heart, and went out and worked to earn that trip to provincials for us.”
“The entire season we were overlooked and we weren’t seen as a good team so we tried our best to build our best abilities, we went into that semi-final game wanting this win, wanting to go to provincials and to show everyone that we were good enough to go,” said Ball.
Amy Rombough, a mom of one of the players said, as the time ran down, the parents sitting in the stands and the girls realized they’d beaten the odds and the rebels.
“There were tears and the girls were excited and we went over to the coaches and we were like, OK, so now what?” said Rombough.
The “what” was more like a “how” the team could now travel to provincials in High Level.
Never expecting to make it that far, the team didn’t have a single penny budgeted for the trip, and had less than three days to raise money for things like transportation and hotel rooms.
That’s when parents, family, friends and neighbors mobilized and collected almost $20,000 in just 48 hours.
“It was absolutely incredible how the community of Coaldale and even businesses in Lethbridge came together and supported these girls,” said Rombough.
The girls made it to High Level with the help of their driver, Mike, whom they made sure to count in for every celebration along the way.”
The pride finished provincials with a win and two losses.
They hope to do it all again next year for provincials in Lethbridge — a much more cost-friendly trip.