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Four Moose Jaw basketball teams off to Hoopla after regional victories

Central boys and girls, Peacock boys, Vanier girls all off to SHSAA provincial championships in Prince Albert this coming weekend

Over the years, the Central Cyclones girls basketball team has had a rather storied history when facing the Melfort Comets.

Time and again the Cyclones would be the lower-ranked team heading into the regional championship tournament and time and again they’d find a way to pull off the upset.

Things apparently haven’t changed in that regard, and now the Cyclones are among four Moose Jaw teams off to Hoopla in Prince Albert next weekend.

The Cyclones pulled off the biggest surprise out of all the local victories this past weekend, as they went into their 4A girls regional as the tournament’s sixth seed. They opened with a 70-39 win over 11-seed Yorkton Sacred Heart in their opener and faced the third-seed Comets for a spot in Hoopla.

There, Central would get the job done in style, battling to a 60-47 victory to emerge as one of the final four teams in the province.

They’ll be facing a familiar foe in their Hoopla opener on Friday night -- none other than the Vanier Spirits.

The city champions are ranked second in the province and made no mistake as regional tournament hosts, posting a couple of utterly commanding victories. The Spirits opened with a 74-14 win over Sakaskohc from Onion Lake before rolling to a 78-28 win over Regina Johnson in their regional gold medal game.

Kate Waldenberger led the Spirits with 20 points in the final, while Waverly Demassi scored 15, Callie Klemenz added 12 and Ireland Guillaume 10.

The Peacock Toilers didn’t have as much luck in the 5A girls regional in Lloydminster, as after winning their opener 70-60 over Yorkton, they’d drop a 70-34 decision to top-seeded Swift Current and go on to fall to Prince Albert Carlton 73-57 in the third-place game.

The city champion Toilers boys saw the shoe on the other foot in their regional run, and ended up with a dramatic win in the 5A boys third-place game at Peacock.

Facing Lloydminster with a spot in Hoopla on the line, the Toilers trailed by 10 with four minutes to play and looked as if their season was about to come to a close. But as they showed in the league final, they can put up a lot of points right quick and that’s exactly what Peacock would do -- a 14-0 run to close out the game would give the Toilers an 80-73 victory and send them to the provincial championship.

Mukungu Mutabazi led Peacock with 20 points, while Josh Johnson put up 14 to go along with 10 each from Tegan Tollefson and Tegan Gagnon.

Peacock opened their regional with an 85-80 win over Yorkton Regional before falling 91-64 in the semifinal to top-seed and regional champion Prince Albert Carlton.

Things were all but anticlimactic for the defending 4A boys provincial champion and top-seeded Central Cyclones, as they rolled to a 100-74 win over Regina Scott in their lone regional game.

Mason Muchowski led the way with 29 points and Gerritt Gulutzan added 20 while Tommy Vincent scored 18 before going down with an apparent ankle injury late in the game. 

All four Hoopla qualifiers now advance to provincials beginning Friday in Prince Albert.

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