The Rainmakers get set on defence against the Hazelton Spartans. Down 61-10 in the third quarter, the Spartans coach called the game, citing his players not feeling well enough to continue. (Kristin Moraes photo)

Rainmakers roll in early season exhibition play

Perfect start on the road as new season begins with a new senior core

The Charles Hays Rainmakers senior boys squad’s new season is off to a flying start after they cruised through their opposition during regional warmup games over the weekend.

The action started on Friday night in Terrace as the Rainmakers played the host Caledonia Kermodes. Although they were caught flat-footed out of the gate and fell to an early deficit, the team rallied to grab a 40-32 lead at the half. The second half was all Charles Hays, as they put up 53 points en route to a 93-64 victory. Kai Leighton led the way offensively by dropping 28 points, while Brendon Eshom played an important role with a number of rebounds at both ends of the floor.

The team was right back on the floor on Saturday, and there was never any doubt what the result would be this time as Charles Hays ran away from the Smithers Gryphons for a 95-38 win. Rylan Adams was on fire from downtown, draining six three-pointers and scoring 28 points in the victory. The Rainmakers closed out their games with a 61-10 win over Hazelton, a game that the Spartans conceded in the third quarter as the coach said too many of his players were too injured or sick to continue.

The Rainmakers were having a blast after sweeping their weekend’s worth of games in Terrace. (Kristin Moraes photo)

READ MORE: Young athletes showing strides at Minor Basketball Mid Season Tourney

“Offensively we looked pretty good. Defensively we still have some stuff to work on,” assistant coach Ryan Bishop said after the games. “The guys seemed a little nervous in the first game there, and we came out pretty slow. We were going against their [Caledonia] home crowd which I don’t know if the guys were ready for, but whatever it was they settled in afterwards and played well to finish off the game.”

Charles Hays lost a big chunk of their starting rotation to graduation last season, including Liam McChesney, Eric Lees, Colby Stephens, Daniel Cachero and Quinton Nisyok. Despite this, Bishop thinks depth wise the team has actually improved.

”We have a lot of guys that played on the team last year that didn’t get as many opportunities as Grade 11s, but they showed the ability to put the ball in the basket,” Bishop said. “We have a bunch of Grade 11s coming up from the junior program that can play good basketball. So offensively we’re probably even deeper than last year, even after losing that cast.”

Next up for the Rainmakers is a Wednesday trip down to metro Vancouver, where they will play the Kitsilano Blue Demons shortly after stepping off the plane. They will be back on the court the next day as the North Shore exhibition tournament begins, which will run from Dec. 5-7.

READ MORE: MVP of the Week: Duncan Ryan: Once a Rainmaker, always a Rainmaker


Alex Kurial | Sports Reporter
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