The Shaunavon Shadows senior boys basketball team was in Sherwood Park to face some tough competition over the weekend.
The Shadows thought the elite competition in Edmonton would be its greatest challenge on the weekend. However, injuries would be equally as difficult to overcome as the talented teams they would play as the Shadows, already missing Marty Funk their starting 6’6” center and guard Kirk Amon, battled injuries throughout the weekend.
In their first game against Bev Facey Community High, a school of 1,300 kids and one of the strongest teams in Edmonton, the Shadows were defeated 95-61. The Shadows battled hard but got down early in the first quarter, due to some missed opportunities, and when leading scorer Matthew Benesh was hurt and missed the last eight minutes of the quarter.
Benesh returned despite the injury in the second quarter and the Shadows played very well as a team, almost even for the rest of the game but could not make up the deficit. Benesh led the offense with 25 points and six rebounds. Jesse Voll had 13 points and nine rebounds, Jay Selvig had nine points and two steals and Dillan Carlson added six assists and five steals.
The Shadows then faced Strathcona Christian Academy in their next game and suffered a 66-49 defeat. The Shadows, who played without Benesh due to a leg injury from the earlier game, played hard as some younger players were given some key minutes and responded well. Voll played a very strong game and led the team with 23 points and 15 rebounds. Carlson added 10 points, three assists and three steals. Dean Wilkins had seven points and three steals. Starting guard and third leading scorer for the Shadows Jay Selvig was injured and missed the fourth quarter.
The Shadows played Edmonton’s Archbishop Oscar Romero High School in their last game and were defeated 73-61. The Shadows played this game without starters Ashton Willman and Jay Selvig along with guard Dean Wilkins all due to leg injuries. Despite the injuries the Shadows battled throughout the game. Benesh, who limped through the game, led the Shadows with 32 points and 10 rebounds, Carlson had 11 points and seven rebounds, and Voll added nine points and 12 rebounds.
It was a productive and enjoyable weekend for the Shadows as they tested their mettle against some talented teams although coach Mark Benesh lamented that it would have been nice to have his whole team to see just how they could have matched up.
The Shadows will resume their SWAC schedule on Jan. 10 when they visit the Maple Creek Rebels.