Killarney hopes for a little luck of the Irish on St. Pat’s


The Killarney Raiders are hoping for a little luck of the Irish when they start playing at the Provincial AA Basketball Championships in Portage la Prairie on St. Patrick’s Day.

They play the host Westpark Royals at 10 a.m. this Thursday, March 17. They got to this point after a difficult season, which started with a loss, and was fraught with cancellations and COVID restrictions. However, that first loss would be their only loss.

“The season as a whole has been very trying, with no games for two years, and then so many cancellations due to COVID or weather this year. With all the stops and starts, we really had to focus on what we could control, and play well when the time came,” said their coach, Terry Beazley. “They really rose to the occasion in the zone final.”

On Saturday, March 5 the Raiders beat the Melita/Hartney/Deloraine Co-op team in a thrilling 65-62 Zone 9 Championship final.

“I’m very proud of this team,” said Beazley. “Even though they’re young and usually outsized, they work together well and are very coachable. We have some excellent veteran leaders and everyone works hard and knows their role. Our only loss this season was in our very first game, and we’ve improved so much since then.”

Coach Beazley said the Raiders are not likely to be ranked very high at provincials, but teams also haven’t played each other at tournaments this year.

“Rankings might not mean as much,” he said. “I know we’ll do our best to represent Killarney and our school well. It will be an honour to be with them at provincials.”

Beazley, who is retiring as principal of Killarney School this June, may not be done with coaching basketball.

 “I love it so much, and we have so many young players with potential. Who knows, there may be a role for an old coach here next year,” he said. “If this is the last year, I couldn’t be prouder than to have it end with this group.”

ZONE 9 VARSITY BOYS BASKETBALL CHAMPIONS – The Killarney Raiders are Zone 9 Basketball Champions after a thrilling 65-62 victory over the Melita/Hartney/Deloraine team on Saturday. Back row: (from left) Josh Archambault, Myles Ganske, Aiden Heinrichs, Wyatt Sunaert, Russell Outhwaite, Jerimiah Main, and Terry Beazley (coach). Front row: Chase Nafziger, Aryan Wall-Yousuf, Logan Sitnik, Kirk Sardal, and Zidane Kaduri. Missing: Kaleb Friesen and Gavin Garabed.

LAYUP ON THE WAY UP – Wyatt Sunaert, co-captain of the Killarney Raiders, gets two points for his team as they slip ahead of the Melita/Hartney/Deloraine Co-op team in the final minutes of the Zone 9 Championship on Saturday, March 5. Killarney won 65-62, in dramatic fashion.

ATHLETE OF THE WEEK – Killarney’s Russell Outhwaite, the Dairy Farmers of Manitoba High School Athlete of the Week, throws up another two pointer in the Raiders’ 73-55 semi-final win over the Souris Sabres. Outhwaite, who co-captains the basketball team with Wyatt Sunaert, leads the Raiders in rebounding and scoring average on the season. He is also captain of the Killarney/Wawanesa Raiders hockey team, which finished first in regular season play in the Westman High School Hockey League, and won the Dairy Farmers of Manitoba Provincial AA Hockey Championships on the weekend.