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Central Kings Gators have high hopes for hoops teams

CAMBRIDGE - The distinction of league leaders will soon be up for grabs.

And the CK Gators intend to be in the running.

Scott Pope, assistant coach for the Central Kings Rural High School’s senior girls’ basketball team, is pleased with how the team performed in pre-season exhibition games, but he expects to see some stiff as the Division 2 league play unfolds.

“Our true tests start now because it’s all league games,” he said.

The Gators proved they have a knack for finding the net in an 84-12 at-home victory against Digby Jan. 10. Regardless of the numbers of the scoreboard, Pope says Digby played with heart from the first jump ball until the final buzzer sounded.

“They worked hard. They were hustling as much as they could.”

Pope would like to see the Gators within the top three teams in the division this year. The end goal is to pave their way to provincials in March.

“We have some Grade 12s that are putting in a good effort and the other girls are all following the examples of their seniors. It’s a good mix of kids from Grade 9 all the way up to Grade 12,” said Pope.

“We’re all looking forward to getting the season going and continuing with the good play.”

The Gators’ senior boys’ team also played at home Jan. 10, rallying back and forth with the Northeast Kings Titans in a close contest that saw NKEC ahead with a slight 50-48 lead at the close of two quarters.

The Titans would ultimately claim a 75-68 victory, with Cameron Oickle draining 20 points as the Canning-based team’s top scorer. Lance Keddy tossed up 20 points for the Gators, and Alex Parnell recorded 17.

Central Kings is hosting the annual Gator Basketball Festival Tournament Jan. 12-13. The first game is at 2 p.m. Friday, and the championship is slated for 3 p.m. on Saturday.

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