It was a bit of a rude welcoming to Prince Rupert for the Duchess Park Condors’ junior and senior boys basketball teams, who were swept by the Charles Hays squads on the weekend.
The junior boys Rainmakers won 56-48 on Friday evening and 57-36 on Saturday. The seniors easily won 69-47 in the first game and rallied on Saturday afternoon for the 83-68 win, completing the doubleheader sweep for the Rainmakers.
But it was also a costly win for the senior team as starting point guard Skyler Wesley was stretchered out of the game with a leg injury.
“Hopefully he’s healthy. He’s got pain down in his leg now so that’s not good. He’s a tough kid,” coach Mel Bishop said after the game.
Despite losing a key player in the second quarter, the Rainmakers rallied from being down by 10 points and tied the game at 37-37 by halftime.
But the team surged ahead in the second half thanks to 11 points by Ben Rabel and Liam McChesney, and 13 by Quinn Leighton, who finished with 25 points.
“I thought it was a good effort today,” Bishop said. “I don’t think we were as good defensively as we gave up 68.”
The coach said he expected the Rainmakers to come out a little flat, as that often happens after a big win, but he was happy with how they adjusted and picked it up in the second quarter.
This coming weekend, the senior boys head to Terrace to take on Caledonia in the final regular-season showdown.
Also impressing on the court was the junior boys team, which improved to an outstanding 15-0 as they closed out their regular season.
“We shot really well, not as well from outside the three-point line yesterday. We were finding our shooters, just playing free,” head coach Kevin Sawka said.
After Friday’s close game, it was more of a defensive showing by the Rainmakers on Saturday. There was no score in the game for over half of the first quarter before Colby Stephens sank three free throws to get them going.
By halftime, CHSS led 25-15 before Kai Leighton tore it up in the second half. The Rainmaker scored an impressive six three-pointers and 20 points overall in the final two quarters. He would finish the game with 28 points.
The first game was a bit more of a balanced offensive showing. Colby Stephens had 13 points, Eric Lees and Leighton each scored 11 and Daniel Cachero scored eight.
With their perfect regular season behind them, it’s time for the Rainmakers to win the NorthWest zone at home this weekend. CHSS will welcome Terrace and Kitimat for the title, but the Rainmakers feel confident going in.
“Nobody in the zone has gotten within 30 points of us but the big key is to respect your opponent and know that they want to win too, they’re going to work hard,” Sawka said.
As long as the Rainmakers take care of business on the defensive end and rebound well, the coach figures the team will be free of mind in the offensive end and be successful.