The Herbert Laurels boys basketball team will be the only Southwest representative at Hoopla this season after they won the SHSAA 1A Regional Championship on their home court on Saturday.
Southpaw marksmen Phil Braun led the Laurels to victory with 27 points, including seven three-pointers, as the grade 12 helped extend his career with an 87-73 win over the Poundmaker Chiefs.
The hometown boys’ nerves got the best of them in the first half as they trailed 18-8 after one quarter and 39-31 at halftime as they struggled to score from inside the paint and beyond the arc.
They heated up in the second half, led by Braun’s distance shooting, out-scoring the Chiefs 36-12 in the third quarter on their way to a 14-point win.
“I am very proud of the team,” said head coach Mark Forsyth. “These guys have built and become way more strong as the season progressed. I am happy to see them finish second in the league and happy to go to Hoopla for six grade 12’s to have a chance of winning the title.”
“I am so proud of these guys,” added Braun. “We fought and we stayed in it. Nobody gave up and that is the thing I am most proud of. It is just great to see that we don’t quit, because for a moment there it didn’t look like we were going to be able to do it. We just kept fighting and played hard until the end and I am thankful for that.”
Herbert will face Craik in the provincial semifinal in Regina on Friday. Regina Harvest City and Sturgis will meet in the other semifinal.