CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Many different girls can help power the Charlottetown Rural Raiders to wins.
“We have a lot of girls that contribute,” head coach Peter Lawlor said Wednesday. “I think that’s one of our strengths, we’re not dependent on one or two players. Any one of 10 or 11 girls can step up (on) any given day and give us a contribution.”
The Raiders get a chance to play today at 9:15 a.m. when they host the Bluefield Bobcats in their first game of the Confederation City Classic. They were expected to play Wednesday, but the game was postponed.
The tournament schedule has been altered after some teams dropped out due to the forecasted storm. There are only four games slated for today and they all start before noon.
“Early games can be challenging, but so far this year we’ve responded fairly well to early games,” Lawlor said.
The Raiders are the two-time defending Prince Edward Island School Athletic Association champs and they have half a dozen returning players, including Grade 12s Ashley Plaggenhoef, Lauren Reid and Sam Silliphant as well as Grade 11 Sydney Whitlock.
“We’re pretty small,” admitted Lawlor. “We often play four guards and at times we’ll play five guards. Our offence is pretty much an interchangeable offence where everybody ends up at any position at any time.”
The team relies on team defence where switches and help defence are key. The defensive pressure helps push the play up the court to the offence.
Charlottetown Rural practised a few days during the Christmas break and was on the court on New Year’s Day to prepare for an exhibition game against a La Crete Public School. The Northern Alberta school team is touring the region between New Year’s and this weekend.
“It kind of served two purposes,” Lawlor explained. “It got them a good a game and got us a game to get back on the court before the tournament this weekend.”
While every team is looking to win each time they step on the floor, Lawlor said this week’s tournament is more about improving its play and executing items it has been working on in practice.
“(We’re) not really worrying about the results of the tournament,” he said. “It’s more just about getting a little bit better every game and building towards the end of the season.”
9:15 a.m. – Bluefield Bobcats at Charlottetown Rural Raiders.
11 a.m. – Amherst (N.S.) vs. Oxford (N.S.) at Charlottetown Rural.
10:30 a.m. – Miramichi Valley at Colonel Gray Colonels.
11 a.m. – C.P. Allen Cheetahs at Three Oaks Axemen.