Ardens begin defense of 4A title

Staff ~ The Southwest Booster
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The Swift Current Comp. Ardens basketball team had solid beginning to their season with a trio of exhibition victories over four days to get an early start to their season.
Last season the Ardens defeated Regina F.W. Johnson to capture the SHSAA 4A provincial title with a veteran laden lineup.
This season four high-scoring players return to the Ardens and are complimented by some fresh faces.
Returning players are Kimbi Wiebe, Hailey McRae, Briana Wilms and Lindsay Siemens.
With six rookies in the lineup the newcomers got a good opportunity to take the court with the veteran Ardens in a 71-11 win over Warman on Saturday.
The Ardens got off to a slow start but used a second quarter 29-0 run to take a 48-6 lead into the halftime break.
Hailey McRae and Kimbi Wiebe, both four year veterans, led the scoring with 22 and 18 points respectively.
Sophomore guard/wing Lindsay Siemens picked up right where she left off last season with 15 points, seven rebounds, and six steals.
Grade 10 rookie post Chana Bakken began her Senior Ardens career in style with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Grade 10 rookie post Nikki Francoeur gathered 11 rebounds while fellow rookie grade 10 wing Tessa Andres had eight rebounds and six steals.
The second match-up for the Ardens was a meeting with last year's 3A finalists, LCBI from Outlook.
The Ardens jumped out to a 20-10 first quarter lead but struggled to defend Outlook in man-to-man defense and went to the halftime break tied 32-32.
A 21-6 run in the third quarter helped seal a 65-50 win for the Ardens.
Hailey McRae showed signs of a dominating senior season with 21 points and 18 rebounds.
Kimbi Wiebe shot nine for 11 for 18 points.
Siemens contributed 12 points and five steals.
Nikki Francoeur collected six rebounds followed by Andres with five.
Tuesday the Ardens downed the Frontier Raiders 43-23 in an exhibition game in Swift Current.
Hailey McRae paced the Ardens with 22 points while Wiebe chipped in eight points followed by six from Siemens.
Post Lindsey Anderson led the Raiders with nine points while guard Tanelle Korsberg added five.
Ardens head coach Rod Siemens explained that the Ardens have not set any lofty goals just yet.
"We haven't really sat down and worked out the season goals yet. I think that the plan is to go through the weekend here and see how we feel about things and establish where our goals are."
Siemens has a bit of an idea what one of the goals will be though.
"Saying that I know that there is certainly an expectation from the girls that their desire is to get back to the Hoopla Championships."
This weekend the Ardens will be in North Battleford to begin their tournament schedule at a 16-team event.

Geographic location: Swift Current, North Battleford

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