Charles Hays Secondary School senior boys basketball team’s season came to an end last week as the team made the journey to Langley to compete in the BC High School Basketball Championships.
The team went 2-2 in the tournament to finish seventh in the province, competing hard against some of the of B.C.’s top basketball talent along the way. Head coach Ryan Bishop said even though the team fell short of their ultimate goal of competing for the championship, he was happy with how the team progressed through the year and fought at the tournament.
“They’ve worked hard all year, and you wanted a bit more of a successful end to the season for them,” he said. “But I’m proud of their effort.”
Ultimately, it was poor outside shooting that hurt the Rainmakers’ chances as they were unable to hit three-point shots at the same rate as they had through the season. Bishop said the team went 22-119 for the tournament, good for only 18 per cent.
“Any of our guys are going to hit a better percentage than that in practice,” he said. “We had good looks and unfortunately they didn’t fall.”
The Rainmakers were able to overcome their shooting woes in their first game against R.C. Palmer, taking advantage of the size and rebounding provided by their forwards Liam McChesney and Kai Leighton to win the game 63-49. Leighton led the way, scoring 26 points with McChesney adding 14.
The win advanced the Rainmakers to the quarter finals where they were matched up with Seycove, a big physical team with quickness at the guard positions.
The Rainmakers only trailed by one point 39-38 going into the half, but poor shooting in the third placed the team in a 66-51 hole going into the final quarter. The team found their shooting touch in the fourth, but were unable to tie the game and lost by a final score of 91-80. McChesney (28), Leighton (19) and Christian Clifton (18) led the team in scoring for the game.
The loss knocked the team out of contention for the championship, but Bishop said he was proud of how they battled in their final two games, a 56-60 loss to Shawnigan Lake and a 52-62 victory against Clarence Fulton.
“Guys competed,” he said. “It’s hard to come back after a loss, but the guys showed their character.
“It’s a learning experience, and we’re still a young team.”