Rainmaker Aiden Leighton dribbling with Quinton Nisyok in the background. Charles Hays Secondary School Rainmakers won the Provincial Championships 2A Tournament on Saturday against the Lake Country’s George Elliot Coyotes. (Paul Yates/Vancouver Sports Pictures)

Rainmakers win 2A championship at provincials

Charles Hays Secondary School’s senior boys basketball defeat Lake Country’s Coyotes

The Rainmakers captured the BC Boys Basketball Provincial Championships 2A Tournament with a decisive victory over Lake Country’s George Elliot Coyotes.

Finals were on Saturday, March 9, at the Langley Events Centre, where the Charles Hays Secondary School senior basketball team capped off their tournament with a 78-51 win.

“I’m really happy with the kids, they worked hard all year,” said head coach Mel Bishop, adding that many of the players weight trained to bring extra strength to their game.

It’s been 18 years since the team took the title at provincials. Prince Rupert won the AAA championship in 1964, and the AA in 1998 and 2001.

In 1998, Ryan Bishop was on the Rainmakers as a Grade 10 call up. He’d graduated when Prince Rupert took the title in 2001. This year, Ryan coached with his father, Mel.

In an interview at the Langley Events Centre, Ryan said “It’s nice to be a part of an actual one. I consider this my first provincial title.”

The Rainmakers won each of their four games in Langley with an average of 32 points. Friday’s semi-finals was the closest match when the Rainmakers faced Sa-Hali Sabres in a nail-bitter game that ended in a 74-66 win.

READ MORE: Rainmakers in provincial finals against the Coyotes

The Rainmaker’s defence was touted as the ‘difference maker’ at the tournament.

“We D’ed up, that was the deciding factor,” Ryan said. “We have stressed that all year. Physically we have been very strong on the defensive end and we take pride in that.”

Meanwhile, the Coyotes were known for their offensive output throughout the tournament, with an 88, 91 and 85-point performance in their first three games and many of their points coming from outside the three-point line.

“They took the line away from us,” said George Elliot coach Dave Lafontaine. “But you have to hit the shots.”

In the first quarter of the game, the Coyotes scored only 8 points and were down 39-18 at the half.

“But to get to this point and know we competed against an excellent team – the Bishops are legends in Prince Rupert, they do an outstanding job – they knew what we were going to do on the court,” Lafontaine said.

Rainmakers’ offence was also strong, with Liam McChesney scoring 25 points, 13 rebounds, Kai Leighton, with 20 points and 13 rebounds, and Eric Lees had 14 points and five rebounds.

Lees was honoured with Championship Player of the Game, and McChesney was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

McChesney is signed on to play with Utah State University after he graduates from Charles Hays Secondary.

While the Rainmakers returned home with the 2A championship, Mel said that his team was in that classification based on Charles Hays Secondary’s population. Many of the teams they competed against were from private schools making the division tougher than 3A, according to Mel.

“Geographically we’re so disadvantaged. The closest game is 100 miles away,” Mel said, which was why the team travelled twice to Vancouver to find high level competition in Quad A tournaments.

In January, the senior boys travelled to Vancouver and played Lord Tweedsmuir, the Quad A champions, and beat them by 25 points.This past season, the Rainmakers won all four games against the Quad A Number 2 seed, the Kitsilano Blue Demons. Two of those games were in Prince Rupert.

The senior Rainmakers only had four games in February, and the head coach was concerned. But despite the disadvantage, the boys fought hard and reigned as 2A provincial champions.

READ MORE: Rainmaker Liam McChesney commits to Utah State University


Shannon Lough | Editor
Shannon Lough 
Send Shannon email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

 

(Paul Yates/Vancouver Sports Pictures)

Senior boys Rainmakers capture the BC Boys Basketball Provincial Championships 2A Tournament title on March 9 in Langely, B.C. (Sarah McChesney photo)

Just Posted

Rock Stock 2019: “It’s going to be better than last year”

For some young musicians this will be their eighth year performing at Rock Stock in Prince Rupert

First ever Indigenous Symposium educates teachers in Prince Rupert

Cedar weaving, drumming for reconciliation and basic Sm’algyax lessons were offered to educators

Convicted animal abuser to return to B.C. court May 21

Catherine Jessica Adams is facing a breach of probation charge

Playing with the big boys: CHSS’ junior rugby team too good for their league

Coach says this is one of the best high school rugby teams he has seen in Prince Rupert

Red cedars dying in Prince Rupert from drought

There was a 75 per cent decline in precipitation for the months of February and April

Kelowna RCMP interrogation video brings home reality in ‘visceral way’: former TRC chairman

Video of Mountie interrogating young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse under fire

Update: Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Full-scale search underway for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Paddle Centre member Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, failed to return from his ‘daily kayak’ on the lake

ICBC urging drivers to slow down this May long weekend

Speed is number one cause of car crash fatalities: ICBC

Bucks hammer Raptors 125-103 to take 2-0 playoff series lead

Toronto heads home in a hole after second loss to Milwaukee

Most Read