The Charles Hays Rainmakers senior boys’ basketball team now ranks third in the B.C. AAA Division after reaching the finals of the 2014 North Shore Invitational (NIST) last weekend.
But the quad-A No. 5 provincially-ranked Blue Demons proved to be too much for the Prince Rupert team, snapping their seven-game undefeated streak by a score of 60-46.
In the NSIT tourney, the Rupertites went 3-1, a much-improved record from 2013 when the team went 1-2, only defeating AAAA Victoria’s Belmont Secondary in the process.
“We lost Perry Terrell, our starting small forward after Game 3 and it hurt us a little bit offensively so the score at half-time was 25-25 and then we held them to 60 so we played good enough defence to win that game but we scored 46,” said head coach Mel Bishop.
Jacob Henry took Terrell’s place and scored 12 points. Both Kyler Reece and Justin McChesney sank 10 points in the final.
“We got beat on the board a little bit because we start smaller like that,” said the coach.
“I’m really happy about the defensive side of things. The kids are working hard on defence which is a good thing.”
Grade 11 student McChesney was named an all-star.
Although the Rainmakers were edged out by AAAA powerhouse Kitsilano Blue Demons in the final, they reached the championship game with convincing wins over other higher-level competition.
Thursday’s matchup and the tournament opener had the ‘Makers face-off against AAAA Belmont and take the game 65-46. Kyler Reece matched Henry’s earlier totals with 14 points while Justin McChesney had 12. It was the second straight year the ’Makers faced Belmont.
“There was a pretty good balance there,” said head coach Mel Bishop.
“A lot of guys scored.”
Friday’s quarter-final match had the crowd heavily against the Rainmakers as the host team Cason Graham battled Prince Rupert for a semi-final shot. Charles Hays wasted no time taking the audience out of it though, and snatched a 56-45 victory away from the hosts.
Another Vancouver team met the Rainmakers in the semi-final, but they fared no better than Carson Graham against Charles Hays as ‘Makers’ head coach Mel Bishop’s crew completed their seventh-straight win in a 62-48 victory over Sutherland Secondary, giving them the chance to win the 16-team tournament against Kitsilano.
The Rainmakers won’t be surprising too many teams this year compared to last season where they got the jump on most squads due to being a relatively unknown item in the Lower Mainland. Their early AAA No. 3 rank in B.C. has made sure of that.
Up next for the Rainmakers is the Jim Ciccone Memorial Alumni Tournament this Friday and Saturday and then they’ll face-off against Caledonia again on Friday, Jan. 2 and Saturday, Jan. 3 at home.