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Junior Rainmakers finish seventh in Vancouver tounrnament

Charles Hays bounced back after a close loss in the tournament’s opening game
(Black Press Media photo)

The Charles Hays junior boys basketball team may not have gotten the result they wanted at the North Shore Invitational Tournament, but their coach is proud with how they battled after a tough loss.

The junior Rainmakers went 3-1 at the annual Vancouver tournament, finishing in seventh place out of 16 teams.

READ MORE: Junior Rainmakers cruise to victory

A nervous, one-point 41-40 loss in the team’s opening game against New West eliminated the possibility of competing to win the tournament. Kevin Sawka, the team’s head coach, said the team was out of character and had a hard time executing the way they normally do.

“We’d have random turnovers at bad times or guys would dribble to ball off their feet,” he said. “We accomplished what we wanted to defensively, but couldn’t get what we wanted on the offensive side of the ball.”

Despite losing that first game, the Rainmakers bounced back to win their next three games against Charles Best (59-25), Vernon (55-27) and Magee (49-37) to win the tournament’s consolation final.

“The guys responded well and we were able to play more like ourselves after that first game,” he said. “I was really happy with their bounce back.”

The team now is now on the honorable mention list in the province, which means they are ranked in the top 15. They will next host the coastal clash tournament this weekend, hosting teams from Haida Gwaii, Terrace, Kitimat, Hazelton and Smithers.

READ MORE: Rainmakers dominant over the weekend

Sawka said the team is steadily improving as zones approach.

“I think all signs are pointing in the right direction,” he said. “We’ve just got to keep working on what we’re working on.”

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Matthew Allen | Reporter
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