It’s Rain versus Ice in round one of senior boys’ provincials

Rainmakers take on Mark Isfeld Ice in the No. 4 vs. N0. 13 matchup on Wednesday

It’s water versus ice in the first round of the TELUS 2015 BC High School Boys AAA Basketball Championships.

Comprising the No. 4 vs. No. 13 matchup in the draw are the Charles Hays (CHSS) Rainmakers senior boys squad and the Mark Isfeld Secondary Ice, respectively.

The Mel Bishop-led team will try and make the Ice slip up for the second year in a row, except this time, the pressure’s on the ‘Makers as favourites.

Having recently moved to No. 3 in the Vancouver Province’s rankings – their highest position all year – the Rupert crew is set to play their first game against the Ice at 1:45 p.m on Wednesday.

The Courtenay-based team, led by coach Tom Elwood, finished in fourth last year after bowing out to Charles Hays in the semifinal 73-65. They’ll be looking for revenge over last year’s loss. The Ice’s top player in 2014, Cole Hutchings, named a provincial first team all-star and tournament most outstanding defensive player, has moved on from the squad. Two Grade 12 players will look to fill the large gap that Hutchings left behind.

Captain Nic Xylinas, a five-foot-eleven guard, will be the main threat coming from the Ice, and the ‘Makers will need to watch out for fellow graduating athlete Blaze Gailloux, a six-foot-two forward.

The Ice’s road to provincials wasn’t as flawless as the Rainmakers’ (with a 3-0 zones record). The Ice went 3-1 in their 2015 Island Zone tourney, defeating Victoria’s Reynolds Secondary 55-21, Sidney’s Parkland Secondary 62-48 and Victoria’s Pacific Christian School 52-32. They fell to Nanaimo’s Wellington 62-42. Should the Rainmakers win Wednesday’s clash, they’ll face the winner of the No. 7 Robert Bateman Timberwolves (Abbotsford) and No. 12 Matthew McNair Marlins (Richmond).