Mia Grant looks for an open Rainmaker during Saturday’s playday against Skeena. Charles Hays won two games

Rainmakers double up

The junior girls Rainmakers beat Skeena 64-29 and Hazelton 34-23 on Saturday at the CHSS gym.

The junior girls Rainmakers followed in the footsteps of the other Charles Hays Secondary School (CHSS) basketball teams and swept its opening weekend.

The girls beat Skeena 64-29 and Hazelton 34-23 on Saturday at the CHSS gym.

“For my starters, they played well. They played a very aggressive basketball, which is what we were hoping for,” said first-year coach Sonny Henry. “Offensively, it could have done a little better but they did their job to get us where we wanted to be.”

The best part of the wins was the girls’ defence. It especially showed up in a low-scoring game against Hazelton. But there’s still lots the coach wants to see in upcoming games.

“The last game, we missed easy, wide-open, fast-break layups. If you’re going to play basketball, you need to make your layups,” he said.

Making their layups will make all the difference in the games for the girls, Henry explained. That and turnovers will be the focus of practices this week for the team.

Henry said Payton Henry, Kristy Innes and Mia Grant stood out throughout the day, because they worked really hard. Innes scored 17 points in game one and 12 in the second game, both of which led the team.

The girls had no trouble against Skeena, scoring early and often to rout the Wildcats. The Rainmakers looked good, constantly getting their own rebounds, creating turnovers and showing good hustle to drive to the basket.

Hazelton proved to be a tougher opponent. Although Rupert led 13-2 after one quarter, that lead dropped to 13-8 after the Spartans shut out the Rainmakers for over half of the second quarter.

The Spartans also outscored Rupert 8-3 in the final frame, but the rally fell short. The Rainmakers staved it off thanks to a tight defensive core, both of the starters and the subs.

The Rainmakers don’t play again until Jan. 14 in Smithers.

“In that game, it’s going to be about execution, we need to execute. If we don’t, we’re in trouble,” he said.

It’s an important game for the Rainmakers because Smithers won zones last year and went to provincials, so it will be a good test to see how good both teams are this time around.

All-in-all, it’s been a strong start to the season for Rainmakers basketball, as all four teams swept its opening weekends.