Winter is coming, and that means it’s almost time for the Charles Hays Secondary School senior boys basketball team to make another run for a provincial title.
The Rainmakers are currently ranked second in the province and the team is entering the season with aspirations of winning a provincial championship. The team’s coach, Ryan Bishop, said while the coaches are still in the process of solidifying the final roster, they feel good about the quality of talent and level of passion for the game showed by the players who are looking for a spot.
“We’ve got a good group of kids who are just gym rats,” he said. “They appreciate the game and they put the time into the game in the offseason and it seems like they all want to compete, which is really nice to see.”
The Rainmakers will play an uptempo brand of basketball this season, helped by the fact that many of this year’s players have the experience and basketball IQ necessary to make quality plays without committing critical errors.
“Because they’ve played so much, they’re able to make smart decisions,” Bishop said. “So you don’t really have to have that control as much from the bench…you can have that much more trust in them because they’ve put the time in.”
Bishop said the team will look to run as often as possible, read and react to the what the defence gives them and look for early scoring opportunities.
“I think with the depth that we have, we’re going to try to really push it pretty hard this year and run the ball as much as we can,” he said.
One of the team’s strengths will be the depth it brings to every position, something Bishop said the Rainmakers will look to take advantage of.
“I don’t think there’s a weak position that we have at the moment, which is nice to see because you don’t often have that as a coach,” he said. “It’s good to know you have 12-14 guys you can go to if you need it.”
Bishop added that while the Rainmakers are a talented group, their ceiling will ultimately be determined by how hard they are willing to play on the defensive side of the ball.
“We’ve got guys that can shoot, we’ve got guys that can pass and dribble and make good decisions,” he said. “But the defensive aspect will either win us the championship or not. It’s defence that wins championships.”