The junior Rainmakers are taking strides to improve early in the season, but the team’s potential has yet to be reached.
Charles Hays junior basketball team had a successful playday in Terrace, beating both Hazelton and Caledonia Secondary School’s junior squads to go 2-0 for the weekend.
“The package is certainly there,” coach Kevin Sawka said. “But there is some fine tuning that needs to be done before we play our best.”
He was happy with the team’s effort and execution in their first game against Hazelton on Saturday, Dec. 11. The team led from start to finish eventually winning 70-33 with nine points from Tyler Jones, 13 points from Isaac Mastroianni, nine points from Aiden Leighton and another 13 from Caden Pagens.
“We held them to 33 so that was pretty good defensively,” Sawka said. “We were getting good shots within the offense, and hitting those shots.”
In the team’s next game against Caledonia, Sawka said his team came out sluggish on both ends of the floor, giving their opponents an early 11-3 lead.
“I don’t think we gave them a lot of respect in the first quarter or were sharp or ready to play,” he said.
Sawka called an early timeout, told his team to refocus, and the Rainmakers promptly went on a 26-6 run to give themselves a 29-17 lead at the half. Caledonia responded in the third quarter to get within six, but Charles Hays finished with a 12-4 run in the fourth to seal the game 48-33.
“Give credit to Caledonia, they worked hard, especially from the outset,” Sawka said. “They brought it to our guys, and it took our guys a while to respond.”
Sawka said his team had improved on the issues they had finishing games in their previous playday, and now the focus is primarily to improve how they start games and executing effectively on offence.