The Prince Rupert junior boys’ basketball teams were in action over the past weekend as Charles Hays Secondary hosted the annual Coastal Clash, and the hosts didn’t disappoint.
A showdown versus Terrace’s Caledonia Secondary (CAL) in the final had the Rainmakers trying to take the championship for (at least) the fourth time in a row, and the home team came through, winning 41-34.
Seven teams took part in the event: Charles Hays, Nisga’a Elementary, Queen Charlotte Secondary, Caledonia Secondary, Bulkley Valley Christian School, Coast Tsimshian Academy and Prince Rupert Middle School.
In the final, execution on the defensive end helped Charles Hays (CHSS) bring home the championship trophy.
With a big crowd at the high school watching, the game featured a low-scoring affair.
The first quarter saw contributions from the substitutions for each team, in particular Rainmakers’ point guard Seji Sahdra. Fatigue, after two days of games, caught up with the athletes.
“It was a bit messy on the way to winning – lots of self-enforced errors by us that need to be cleaned up. The longer you let a team hang around like that, the more dangerous they become,” said junior team coach Kevin Sawka.
The second quarter saw more unravelling from both teams at the offensive end of the floor, as travel misconducts and turnovers seemed to happen every other possession. Malcolm Brown heated up for the Rainmakers, hitting a couple threes in the quarter. The game was 17-10 Rainmakers after the first half.
On the offensive end, over-thinking and reacting led to more sloppy possessions and turnovers in the third frame for the Rainmakers, but they kept their cushion by playing on the defensive end, playing the man and boxing out.
CAL stayed in the game with offensive rebounds and hitting their free throws. The score was 22-20 at the end of three quarters.
The pressure ratcheted up in the fourth. CAL took the lead for about half the quarter, but the Rainmakers came back and got out to a three-point lead with four minutes to go.
Brown nailed one of two clutch free throws down the stretch to extend the lead and the ‘Makers never looked back, winning 41-34.
“I don’t want to take anything away from Caledonia, they worked very hard, but the amount of turnovers that we had in the first half alone, it was not pretty. Our defence improved over the weekend, we still have a lot of systems and philosophy stuff that we haven’t developed as habit … Zones are a week later this year, so it gives us more time to iron out the wrinkles,” added Sawka.
“The goal every year is to get to the B.C. championships. I think everybody understands that everyone is a threat for us whenever we have the ball in our hand. It doesn’t matter which guys score as long as we score.”
Senior boys’ roundup
The CHSS senior boys meanwhile, were playing in the Pitt Meadows Annual Airshow Basketball tournament over the weekend.
game didn’t end so close as the ‘Makers lost 81-52.
Saturday was the team’s final game against Belmont Secondary, which resulted in th squad’s third straight loss, 74-51.
Still, the team should be extremely grateful for the opportunity to travel south and face elite competition and hopefully will use these losses as a gauge to understand the level of commitment and detail they need to spend on their game to negate turnovers, take care of the ball and work on their defence.
Senior girls’ roundup
The CHSS senior girls’ basketball team won both of their games in Hazelton this past weekend, 62-23 and 61-27. Suttira Johansen led the Rainmakers in both games with 19 and 20 points respectively – a strong result for the team.