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Prince Rupert Grade 8 basketball team head into Zone Championship undefeated

“There is a lot of potential in this group” — Mark

The Prince Rupert Middle School Grade 8 boys basketball team will be heading into the BC Northwest Zone Championship undefeated on Feb. 19.

The Storm is currently 6-0 in their regular season versus Grade 8 teams. The middle school is also hosting the zone finals, and the boys will be looking to secure the regional banner title in front of a home crowd.

This month, their latest pair of wins came against Skeena Middle School in Terrace.

On Feb. 12, the Storm visited Terrace playing and winning against them twice 65-25 and 65-30. The top scorers for the Storm were Sarfo Agyemang and Gurvir Gill, who netted 11 and 17 points each, respectively.

“We took it to them,” Benjamin Mark, Storm coach, said.

The coach is happy with the team’s improvement in their fundamental basketball skills and the great progress they have shown throughout the season.

In January, the team hosted games against Prince George Secondary School’s senior team and junior B-team. Though the Storm lost to the seniors by 32 points, the team showed their competitive grit versus the Grade 9 and 10 junior boys, 39-31 and 51-49.

“I think there is a lot of potential in this group,” the coach said, adding it bodes well for the future of Prince Rupert junior, senior and provincial basketball titles.

In the zone championships, the Storm will face five other Northwest teams. Two teams from Smithers and one each from Terrace and the Nass Valley will compete to take the championship banner home.

The tournament will be held in Prince Rupert on Saturday, Feb. 19 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The title match will start at 4:30 p.m.

Regardless of the results at the zone finals, the Storm will not be attending the provincial tournament this season, Mark said as the $15,000 is cost-prohibitive to send the team down to the Lower Mainland.

“We would have had to be fundraising all season,” Mark said, adding the continued pandemic uncertainty contributed to the decision to opt-out this year.

The team will be looking into competing again at provincials next year, he said.

READ MORE: Prince Rupert junior girls basketball team wins Northwest Zone title

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Norman Galimski | Journalist
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