Basketball is back at Charles Hays Secondary School (CHSS) as Rupert’s ballers will hit the court this weekend.
The senior boys will host Brookswood High School, a competitive team from Langley. CHSS, along with Caledonia Senior Secondary School in Terrace, is flying up the team from the Lower Mainland this week.
Brookswood will play two games in Terrace on Thursday and Friday and then come to Rupert. The teams will clash at 7 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.
“It’s just to get competition in the north here,” said coach Mel Bishop.
The games will also welcome Jyoti Pawar back to Prince Rupert. Pawar is a former Prince Rupert Secondary School (PRSS) basketball player that Bishop taught. He now coaches Brookswood.
The long-tenured coach says this season will be different than the last few years.
“We’re going to be more up tempo than last year. We’ll have more possessions in the game,” he said.
The senior Rainmakers aren’t as big this year, but the team has lots of depth on the perimeter which makes Bishop feel confident going into the year.
Next week, the boys will head to Kitsilano and then Vancouver for the North Shore Tournament.
The junior boys will also be in action this week. The group will take on Duchess Park Secondary School in Prince George from Thursday to Sunday to kick off the season.
Coach Kevin Sawka said fans should expect lots of fast-paced play.
“We’ve got some really good playmakers here. We’re a little more guard-heavy this year,” he said.
The junior Rainmakers will be better defensively too, said Sawka. He’s excited about the team’s prospects this year.
“One thing we do well is pass out of the post and find open shooters,” he said. “We’re able to get off the block and do some things from the perimeter instead of just back to the basket which is what we have classically been the last two or three years.”
Sawka mentioned several players to keep an eye out for including Eric Lees, Kai Leighton, Colby Stephens and Tyler Jones.
He also said Brandon Burnett, who is out with a partial calf tear, will give the team a boost when he returns in January.
The juniors won’t play at home until the Coastal Clash Tournament on Jan. 13-14.
Both basketball teams will take part in the Rainmaker Alumni Tournament, which will take place at the school from Dec. 16 to 17.