The Charles Hays Secondary School senior boys basketball team scored another impressive home victory on Jan. 13, beating Centennial Christian School (CCS) 85-37.
Depite leading from start to finish, the Rainmakers had a sluggish start, allowing their opponents to stay relatively close in the game before pulling away in the second and third quarter to secure the victory. Coach Ryan Bishop said it’s important for the team to be more focused.
“It’s really important for us to respect our opponents and prepare mentally for every game the same way,” he said.
The Rainmakers outscored CCS 10-3 to open the first quarter, but some defensive lapses combined with timely shot making from their opponents helped CCS to score 15 points in the quarter to only trail by eight points. In the second quarter, the Rainmakers picked up their defence allowing CCS to only score eight points.
“It’s about communication,” Kai Leighton said, who led the way for the Rainmakers with 24 points in the game. “If they keep swinging the ball and we don’t talk, someone is going to make a mistake.”
The Rainmakers led 45-23 at halftime, with point guard Malcolm Brown driving the ball aggressively, finishing at the rim and kicking out to open shooters.
“He’s really answered the call to be a bigger leader on the court,” Bishop said. “I think he’s picking up that leadership role at the point guard position, and the timing is right going into provincials.”
That combined with strong shooting from Leighton and tough inside play from Liam McChesney helped the Rainmakers build momentum going into the third quarter.
“We pounded the paint inside and when they doubled down, we kicked for the open shot,” Leighton said.
“I just tried to stay physical, keep my head in the game and stay focused on the defensive end and do my best out there,” Brown said.
In the third quarter, the two teams exchanged baskets before the Rainmakers went on a 16-3 run to extend the lead from 51-31 to 67-34 entering the fourth. With the game decided, both teams emptied their benches to end the game.
The Rainmakers next travel to Victoria for a tournament against some of the province’s top ranked AAA and AAAA schools Jan. 18-21.
“As long as we believe we are one of the top teams in the province and play to our potential, we’re going to be fine,” he said.