The Prince Rupert Rainmakers hosted Richmond’s McRoberts Secondary School’s senior boys’ basketball team over the weekend.
The teams played three games against each other, and the Rainmakers took all three. Game one saw an 85-48 score line for the home team, and the second game wasn’t much different with another blow out, 85-46. The third game finished 90-54 for the Rainmakers.
Pressure defence from the Rainmakers who used a 2-3 zone, punctuated by quality rebounding from the interior defenders paved the way for the Rupert side’s success. Prince Rupert boxed out and used their height to their advantage. This translated into easy fast-break-buckets.
Justin McChesney reached the 30-point mark in all three games against McRoberts, scoring 30, 35 and 33 points respectively in the matches, but unfortunately sprained his ankle in the last eight minutes of Game 3.
Nick Campbell notched 16, 11 and 20 points respectively in the three games and Cole Marogna, Skyler Wesley and Quinn Leighton also contributed on the score-sheet for the ’Makers.
Rupert used their size inside to open up their post play, creating more easy-shot opportunities from outside. A flowing offence with lots of off-the-ball cuts and screens make the Rainmakers a fun team to watch. This all contributed to the lopsided wins. The games weren’t so much about the results but more about the experience and in game play for the athletes, as the Rainmakers gear up for zones and provincials.
“It’s hard for us to get competition up here. We placed second and third the last two years provincially. We’ve gone to Vancouver twice but it is a major expense. There are a lot of weekends where we don’t get the tougher games, whereas down south there are many teams we can play. It’s great to have these guys come up here. We played well and passed well, I’m happy with how we played, it looks good and I’m excited,” said Rainmakers head coach Mel Bishop.
“It was really good, we got it going off the get-go. The team moved the ball really well and we all just let the game come to us. It was a good result. I really like playing for Mel. He’s a great coach and lets you play your game within the offence. He really knows what to do in certain situations and learning from that experience really helps me,” said the standout McChesney.
The Rainmakers now turn their sights to the Pitt Meadows Marauders Air Show Basketball Tournament this weekend.
They’ll start play at 1:30 p.m. Thursday against Vancouver’s Charles Tupper Secondary. McChesney is not expected to make the trip with the team due to his sprain.
For the junior boys Rainmakers, the team was playing in the Condor Classic in Prince George this past weekend. They lost in the final, but still went 3-1 in the tournament.
Game 1 pitted Charles Hays vs. College Heights. The Rainmakers came away with a lopsided 68-21 win. Liam McChesney and Eric Lees had nine points apiece and Colby Stephens, Malcolm Brown and Cedric McKay chipped in with eight points each.
In Game 2, Charles Hays played against North Peace, winning 76-15. Brown had 18 points and Christian Clifton had 14.
They then took to the court in the semifinals. The athletes lined up against DP Todd of Prince George and ended with another great result for the team, winning 52-44. Eric Tubb had 16 points and Clifton added 10 more.
The championship final saw Charles Hays matched up against Duchess Park. The ‘Makers dropped the game 29-56.
According to Coach Sawka, “We were 5-for-21 from the free throw line. The first half was closely contested with scores coming late in the shot-clock for both teams. The score at the half was 20-17. Our energy and execution fell flat in the second half of the game. We missed opportunities from the free-throw line. We didn’t take care of the basketball offensively either, which led to blown possessions which Duchess Park turned into points of their own on their next possession”.
“A loss had to happen at some point during the season, but we just didn’t think it would happen in that fashion. This weekend’s games brings our overall record to 8-1 now. We know we have work to do, especially in the area of sustained intensity and focus of execution. We have an opportunity to settle the score at the end of January when we host Duchess Park to a two-game home series on Jan. 29 Friday night & Jan. 30 Saturday morning,” continued Sawka.
This upcoming weekend the junior boys host their annual Coastal Clash Tournament on Jan. 15-16. Teams from across the Northwest will be in attendance. Action begins on Friday at 3:30 p.m. with games continuing until 8 p.m. that night. Games on Saturday begin at 9:30 a.m. and continue every 1.5 hours until the final championship game at 6:30 p.m. that night.
– With files from Kevin Campbell