Last night's game between two Cochrane teams contending for first place in the RVS basketball senior varsity girls division lived up to expectations.
By the end of regulation, Bow Valley Bobcats tied the game 45-45 and came out ahead in overtime with a 50-47 win.
The Cobras were leading by a margin for most of the game until the dying minutes of the fourth quarter. In the five-minute overtime, the Bobcats opened a lead and successfully burned off the last minute of play for the win.
Bobcats head coach Kris Nielson called the Cobras the class of Rocky View leading up to the game and that makes the win that much more satisfying for the Bobcats.
"They're a very good team. They're very talented and they have experienced coaches with a lot of knowledge, so that was a very good win for us."
The Bobcats' four skilled three-point shooters made a difference in the game, he believes.
"We are a three-point shooting team, there's no doubt about that. We shoot the ball better than most teams out there on the perimeter and that's an advantage for us."
Cobras head Randy Peron also points to the game coming down to one three-point basket.
"The measure of the game was that close," says Peron. "It came down to a three-point shot, which they had and we didn't. That was the difference. Moving forward we have to focus on our three-point shooters."
Peron takes every team seriously and anticipated a close battle between the two 3-0 clubs.
"It was a first-place showdown and it was a definitely first-place showdown game."
"I'm happy with how we played and competed. Maybe the result didn't happen, but we'll have a chance to play them maybe two-three times down the road so the kids will be hungrier than ever to get some redemption."
In the meantime, the Cobras will be building momentum towards the end of the season and will be participating in three strong tournaments with ranked teams to help them prepare.
"We want to peak at the end of February and in March and I know we're not there yet."
The Bobcats won five games last year and have already tripled that number at the mid-season point. Nielson says the focus has been on improving the team's execution.
"If we ever start connecting on our open layups we’ll be dangerous. I suppose you could say that at 16-2 overall we’re already dangerous but we have a lot of room for improvement which is exciting in its own right."
He believes the rivalry between the teams is healthy for the community and for high school basketball.
"We want to beat each other, of course, but if we have close games, it's even better for our zone. And if we go out of our zone and win games that's important."
On Feb. 6, the Bobcats are at home against the Chestermere Lakers and the Cobras head to Airdrie to face the Bert Church Chargers.
RVS play resumes in late January
In senior boys, the Cobras were on a bye and enter the semester break 2-1. They'll return to host Bert Church on Feb. 5 in a special Hoops for Hope fundraiser in support of Kids Cancer Care.