MEDICINE HAT, AB – Expectations were high for the Medicine Hat High School senior varsity Mohawks basketball team at the beginning of the season.
Reaching the mid-way mark of their 2018-19 campaign, it’s safe to say those lofty goals have been met so far.
Earning a 96-48 victory over the Magrath Zeniths on Saturday night, the Mohawks have improved their record in league play to a perfect 7-0 and remain at the top of the Southern Alberta High School Basketball League standings.
Mohawks head coach Chad Watson said the team has been extremely consistent over the last two months, but isn’t resting on his laurels halfway through the year.
“Starting off in league going 7-0, I mean that’s huge,” said Watson. “But, we still have a lot of basketball left. We still have Cardston two times, we still got Raymond once, we’ve got LCI one more time.”
The Mohawks squad has outscored their opponents by a 184 point margin over their first seven games, the second highest point differential in the league behind the Cardston Cougars.
That’s also included five players on the roster who have averaged over 10 points per game, led by University of Lethbridge commit Bailey Gosse and his 18.7 points average.
Gosse said it’s as simple as every Mohawks player stepping up when called upon.
“Everyone just kind of knows their role,” said Gosse. “Everyone knows what to do on defence, what their role is if they’re shooters or not shooters, to pass it to the post, what they’re there for. Everyone does a really good job at doing that.”
Another pleasant surprise for the Hat High coaching staff has been the play of Grade 11 student Ethan Egert, who sits second in team scoring with 18 points per game.
Watson said the team had to manage without the six-foot-six forward for a handful of league and tournament games and missed his presence on the court.
“He’s playing so well right now,” he said. “He took off for Australia, we played five games without him and went 4-1 without him. But, I do believe if he would have been there, I think we would have had a different outcome with him in the game.”
Bench players have also had to step up over the team’s first seven games, with senior Eidan Jonker battling a leg injury throughout the first half.
Watson said the team knows their toughest schedule lies ahead, but added the team is confident they have the pieces in place to make a run in playoffs.
“These guys are talented, the only thing that they’ve got to work on day in and day out is their competitive drive and their work ethic,” he said. “If they show up and they’re ready to work, we’re going to be a tough team to beat.”
The Mohawks will enjoy an almost three week break before returning to action, which will be on February 15 in Lethbridge against the LCI Rams.
As for the senior Kwahommies, they lost both of their games over the weekend against Cardston and Magrath to see their record fall to 4-5.
Dropping five of their last six games, the Kwahommies will try to get back on track on February 6 when they face the Winston Churchill Griffins in Lethbridge.
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