Northwest B.C. high school basketball fans had their first chance to see what 2015 will bring and the Charles Hays Rainmakers — both the senior and junior boys — didn’t disappoint.
Visiting Vanderhoof this past weekend, coach Mel Bishop’s provincially sixth-ranked AAA senior boys team impressed with their defence and got some balanced scoring in three games against regional opponents.
The boys’ first competition came in the way of Prince George’s Duchess Park, who they vanquished by a score of 81-52. Grade 11 student Justin McChesney led the Rainmakers in scoring with 16 points. Rosendo Masocol sank 10, as did Kaine Wesley.
Next, the ’Makers took their second game by 11 points in a 66-55 victory over DP Todd, another secondary school from Prince George. Wesley led the way with 19 points in that contest, Perry Terrell was close behind with 17 of his own, Kyler Reece had 15 and McChesney sank 10.
The third and final test for the senior boys came on Sunday when they played — and won — against host Nechako Valley with a 73-58 final score. McChesney scored 24 points, Masocol had 17, Terrell sank 11 and Reece scored nine.
Along with the even scoring from all starters, Bishop’s squad took home Best Defensive Team of the tournament.
“We looked pretty good defensively for this early. Offensively, there’s still a lot of room to improve — just offensive flow, stuff like that,” said Bishop.
Junior boys’ coach Kevin Sawka led his squad into a play day in Kitimat on Saturday and came away with two wins in two games.
“There has been a lot of progress for our team in the last week,” he said.
“The wins this weekend were marked by smart play from our starters and big contributions from our supporting cast in terms of defence and rebounding.”
The boys’ first test saw them match up against Nisga’a Elementary Secondary School (NESS) toppling them 70-45. James Benner had 15 points and four rebounds in the contest and Kolby Jones notched 10 points and five assists.
CHSS moved to 2-0 when they defeated Terrace’s Caledonia by a score of 56-33. Quinn Leighton impressed with a double-double — he had 18 points — and 12 rebounds and Jones followed that with 11 points and three rebounds.
Altogether, the teams went 5-0 in their first competitive weekend of the season. The senior boys will now head to Vancouver for a game hosted by Carson Graham and then to Victoria versus Belmont Secondary. The junior boys are in Smithers on Saturday.