The Charles Hays senior boys basketball team kicked off the No Regrets Tournament in grand fashion, topping the number one ranked double-A team province, Seycove, by a final score of 91-57.
The game was huge for the Rainmakers in the tournament, but it also impacted the team outside of the tournament.
“I think it was a big game for us, just for our ranking, we should go up in our division after beating them.” Mel Bishop, head coach of the Rainmaker said, “It’s important to be a high rank for provincials to get a better first round draw.”
Although the final score wouldn’t indicate it, there was some nervousness and doubt for coach Bishop and his team heading into the affair. They had practically stepped off the plane and walked onto the court.
The team played the day before, then had to be up at 5 a.m. to catch a bus to Terrace by 7 a.m., where they boarded a flight to Vancouver, and then subsequently caught a bus from Vancouver to North Shore, where the games were being played. All of this and their first game tipped off at 3:45 p.m.
No matter the travel coach Bishop said that his boys exceeded his expectations.
“I was a little worried about it, but the kids responded well to the travel, I was really happy with the defensive end of the game, I thought we had a lot of energy,” Bishop said.
The game meant a little more to the Rainmakers, it was a chance at redemption. Seycove eliminated them from last season provincial tournament, making this dominant win that much sweeter.
“The guys were fired up,” Bishop said.
The team two best players stepped up big time, Utah State commit Liam Mcchesney and forward Kai Leighton put forth great performances, scoring 38 and 21 points respectively.
“They are pretty competitive, they like to play well, I was really impressed with how they played,” Bishop said when asked about his two star forwards.
The team continues its tournament later today at 6:30 p.m., and coach Bishop said if they keep playing as they did in game one, good things will follow.
“I think we will do very well, we have to keep up our defensive intensity,” Bishop said.