The Charles Hays Junior Rainmakers returned from the 2019 B.C. basketball championship last week, bouncing back from a crushing opening game loss to claim three wins at the tournament.
All told, the junior boys recorded three wins and two losses over the four-day tournament, which took place at the Langley Events Centre from Saturday, Feb. 23 to Tuesday, Feb. 26.
Seeded 14th at the onset of play, the team ultimately slid to the 18th spot out of 32 teams overall.
Despite losing some ground in the rankings, coach Kevin Sawka told the Northern View that his team performed well considering the size of schools they were up against.
The junior boys tournament is not tiered like senior boys tournaments, Sawka said, so the Rainmakers, a mid-sized Double A team, played several games against Triple or Quad A-sized schools.
In the first game of the tournament, the Rainmakers lost 31-63 to Salmon Arm’s J.L. Jackson school, one of two Quad A-sized schools they went up against.
“The achievement I was most proud of by the team was the way they bounced back from their crushing opening game loss,” Sawka said.
“To reload and win the next three games and learn to compete for every possession like they did in their final game against Heritage Woods was really satisfying to see as their coach.”
The Rainmakers lost their final game to Port Moody’s Quad A Heritage Woods team, but it was tight at 41-44.
The player of the game was Caden Pagens, who netted 14 points for his team.
The Rainmakers did win against two Triple A teams in games three and four, beating Kamloops’ Sa-Hali team 57-48 and Vancouver’s Magee team 39-37.
They played only one team from a Double A-sized school, North Vancouver’s St. Thomas Aquinas school, and won decidedly with a score of 62-36.
The team is grateful to their sponsors and school staff for a great season, Sawka said.