Rainmakers’ Dakota Knockwood keeps an eye on Bobcats’ Mason Berekoff during the second match of the back to back games between Charles Hays and visiting Brookswood Secondary from Langley. Charles Hays took the Saturday game 69-57, following a 73-66 victory the night before. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

Senior Rainmakers take both games against visiting Brookswood Secondary

Charles Hays sweeps the weekend series against the AAA Langley side

It was a close game followed by a one-sided affair as the Charles Hays Senior Rainmakers came away with a pair of wins against the visiting Brookswood Bobcats over the weekend.

The Langley side, coached by former Rainmaker player Jyoti Pawar — who himself was coached by Mel Bishop in the 1990s — headed north to play a pair of games against both the Rainmakers and the Caledonia Kermodes in Terrace. Brookswood’s first game in Rupert went Friday night Jan. 17, with the eighth ranked AAA side coming out hot as they held a 41-38 lead at halftime. The Rainmakers had trouble dealing with the perimeter shooting of Bobcats guard and captain Mason Berekoff who hit five three-pointers and scored 22 points overall in the half. Kai Leighton kept Charles Hays close though with 12 points of his own, while Rylan Adams and Dylan Calder added eight points each.

The Rainmakers cut the deficit by one heading into the final quarter, finally taking the lead at 58-56. Brookswood would go back on top 59-58, but a 9-0 run by the Rainmakers allowed them some breathing room. They would need every point too, as the Bobcats responded with a 7-0 run of their own to bring the game within just one point at 67-66. The Rainmakers shut the comeback down after that though, scoring the final six points of the game for the 73-66 win. Adams finished with 24 points, with Leighton putting up 20. Perhaps most importantly for the Rainmakers comeback effort, they managed to hold the hot-shooting Berekoff to just two points in the entire second half.

Rylan Adams hustles to cover Brookswood’s Jamie Cameron. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

Tyler Jones of the Rainmakers calls out instructions as he brings the ball up the court, while Charles Hays head coach Mel Bishop analyzes the play. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

Saturday’s noon game had little of the drama that had been present in the Friday night affair. The Rainmakers scored the first eight points of the game, doubling up on the Bobcats 22-11 after one. The second quarter began with a 12-3 run for the home side to widen the gap, which would rise to 22 at halftime at 45-23. Tyler Jones had 13 points including three hits from downtown, with Leighton adding 11. The second half was largely academic as Charles Hays cruised to the 69-57 win. The final score was hardly indicative of the pace of the game, with Brookswood only closing the gap after both teams had emptied out their benches to get everyone some playing time.

Jones and Leighton were tied atop the game’s high scoring mark with 18 points each. Rylan Adams also hit the double digit mark with 10 points. Luck Shiomi was the high points man for the Bobcats with 13.

I’m open! Rainmakers and Bobcats jostle as they prepare for an inbound pass. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

Tyler Jones ducks under his Brookswood defender en route to the basket. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

Rainmakers head coach Mel Bishop talked defence after the mini series wrapped up, crediting the improvement he saw in the second matchup.

“I thought defensively we were pretty solid. We eliminated a lot of easy shots. The first game I don’t think we challenged enough jump shots, pressuring and getting into the shooters vision. They’re a three point oriented team, so I thought today we did a better job of pressuring,” Bishop said. “Even a late challenge on a shot is better than no challenge. If your hands are down those guys can get us. So our goal was to pressure every shot, and their shooting percentage went down.”

“Defensively our goal is to hold teams to under 60 points, and if we do that we should be pretty solid,” Bishop added. “Rebounding we did a better job boxing out on the defensive board. Kai Leighton was massive both games, he rebounded like heck.”

Brendan Eshom of the Rainmakers guards Mason Berekoff as he goes up for a shot. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

Bishop had several personal accolades to hand out as well. “I was really impressed with Tyler Jones, he played better today defensively. As a point guard you have to be the tone setter in a game and control your guy. Rylan Adams stepped up today as well,” Bishop said.

The head coach also noted Brendan Eshom’s adjustments to contain Brookswood’s Mason Berekoff after his explosive first half in the first game. “He basically took him out of the game defensively, and helps out so much on the defensive end,” Bishop said.

Alex Kurial | Sports Reporter
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