The Charles Hays Junior Rainmakers in action at the Prince George Polars Tournament in December. (Submitted photo)

Junior Rainmakers rattle off wins at Polars Tourney despite tough draw

Charles Hays comes up a game short of the title, but leave Prince George with several statement wins

The Charles Hays Junior Rainmakers basketball team took part in the Prince George Polars Tournament last weekend, fighting all the way to the final before coming up just short against Dawson Creek.

It wasn’t an easy draw for Charles Hays, as they were matched up against the host side shortly after disembarking from the long bus ride. Prince George took the Thursday opener 66-43, meaning the Rainmakers would have to pursue their goal of the final through the back door bracket.

“We didn’t handle their pressure very well and still had our bus legs,” head coach Kevin Sawka said about the result. “However, that game proved to be the wake up call we needed.”

It certainly seemed to be, as the Rainmakers blew to a 78-25 win over Kelly Road later that day. Kole Jones was the high scorer with 17 points, and he would set the top scoring mark again with 23 in the team’s first game on Friday as they cruised past Fort St. James 74-35. A 56-41 win over Caledonia closed out Friday’s action, followed by a Saturday thumping of Duchess Park 65-38. This set up a rematch with the hosts, but this time the Rainmakers were prepared, rising to the occasion for a 58-50 win.

“With our backs to the wall we ran the table,” Sawka said. “Our defense and shooting came to life, as did our level of physicality and team chemistry during that span.”

READ MORE: Rainmakers start defence of home court with a splash

In the final game however, the Rainmakers ran into guard duo from Dawson Creek who were playing on top of their game. Charles Hays was right in it until the end, but would drop the decision by a slim margin of 57-53.

“Their point guard is arguably the quickest kid I’ve seen play at this level and played with a lot of poise and maturity for his age,” Sawka said of his team’s opponent. “They made it really tough on us on both sides of the ball.”

Kole Jones and Ryver Bryant were named 1st Team All-Stars for their tournament play, while Darren Budskin earned a 2nd Team All-Star nod.

The Junior Rainmakers showed plenty of poise in the tournament, rebounding from an opening game loss to string together five wins in a row. (Submitted photo)

Despite the loss, Sawka and the team returned home to Prince Rupert in high spirits following their performances. “Seven games in three days is a significant challenge and our team was able to maintain our effort over that period of time,” Sawka said.

“I was very happy with how we continued to improve over the course of the tournament, especially how several of our players stood tall at critical moments to bolster our resolve and allow us to stay in the fight,” he added.

“At this stage in the season we have a much better picture of where we’re at and what we’re capable of.”

The team will now get set to take part in the Jim Ciccone Memorial Rainmaker Alumni Tournament this weekend, where they will play current and former Rainmakers basketball talent.

Sawka says he is excited to continue working with the team over the Christmas break, with games picking right back up again at the beginning of January.

READ MORE: River Kings double up the Rampage to take back first place


Alex Kurial | Sports Reporter
Alex Kurial 
Send Alex email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

B.C. High School BasketballbasketballBoys basketballCharles Hays Rainmakers

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Month-long water quality advisory still in effect for Rupert residents

The City of Prince Rupert recommends those with weakened immune systems boil water prior to use

Jennifer Rice North Coast MLA seeks re-election

Northwest politicians announce intent on elections

Heart of the City – Jason Scherr

Try and Try again - Prince Rupert Seamen Rugby Club

No COVID-19 public exposures in the North Health Region at this time

Northern Health Authority issued a statement on Sept. 17

Tax penalties of 10 per cent to be applied by City if not paid on time

Prince Rupert Property taxes for certain non-residential properties are due by Sept. 30

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Application deadline for fish harvester benefits program extended

Those financially impacted by the pandemic have until Oct. 5 to apply

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Most Read