Over the weekend the Salmon Arm Secondary junior Golds Basketball team hosted a nine-team tournament at both the Jackson and Sullivan Campuses.
The junior Golds played St. Ann’s in their first game of the tournament in front of their peers at the Jackson Campus.
Evan Smith led the way offensively with nine points as the Golds won easily 64-16. Nathan Cholton and Daniel Weise each scored eight points, while Weise took home the game-star honour.
In the second game, the Golds fell 54-23 to Okanagan Mission Secondary.
Gavin Limber scored a team high 11 points and was the game’s top player.
NorKam Secondary managed to hold on to their lead in a close game edging the Golds 60-54.
The Golds rallied furiously from behind in the fourth quarter to come within three points.
But the Golds ran into foul trouble and NorKam took advantage from the free- throw line.
“It was a real character-building game and an excellent learning experience for the team,” said assistant coach Rob Neid.
Smith led the offensive push with 14 points and Jackson Mayes contributed nine.
The Golds nabbed a 48-32 win against Sahali Secondary in their final game of the tournament.
Alton Neid and Ryker Davidson contributed to a stingy defence, helping pave the way for Cholton’s game high 10 points.
Neid says he is happy with the start to the season, and insists there is still room for improvement.
“We are a young team with mostly Grade 9s, but we have lots of intensity and drive.”
The junior Golds head to Langley this weekend for another tournament.
Returning guard Dillan Olson scored a team high 15 points in the senior Golds first pre-season game of the year against Kelowna Secondary.
Kelowna is ranked as the number-one team in the B.C. AAAA preseason rankings.
Kelowna’s transition game took advantage of the Golds’ work-in-progress defence, winning 100-52.
“When we were able to set up we looked pretty good; we fought back to a 20 points game in the third quarter before our starters got into foul trouble,” said head coach Rhys Waters.
Over the weekend the Golds travelled to Kamloops for the Westsyde Tournament.
In the first game the Golds doubled up on Elphinstone, from Gibsons, B.C., 99-48.
For the second game in a row, Olson led the offence with 22 points and five steals, while Norman Ambauen scored 16 points and had 10 rebounds.
Waters said the game against Elphinstone was the most complete game he had seen as a Golds coach.
In game two, the Golds faced the tournament hosts, Westsyde.
In a thrilling double overtime, Westsyde edged the Golds 70-67.
“Those close games can go either way for a million different reasons,” he said. “We shot really poorly, and missed an opportunity to advance to the final.”
After a difficult loss the Golds rebounded against Immaculata 76-51. Trajan Boyd led the team with 10 points, while Tyson Chamberlain notched four steals.
Dawson Mayes and Norman Ambauen were named the Golds’ tournament all-stars.
On Monday evening, the Golds lost a nail-biter to Mount Boucherie 80-79. Mayes scored a game high 18 points and had six steals.
Also pitching in offensively was Olson with 15 points and seven rebounds, and Josh Kujat had 13 points
Waters applauds his team’s effort on defence and notes, it is headed in the right direction.
“Boucherie is always a tough road game; there is a great atmosphere in their gym, lots of loud fans,” said Waters.
While he is happy with the start to the season, he notes there are still plenty of areas to work on.
Waters has stressed the importance of staying out of foul trouble, a strong defence and offensive consistency.
The Golds head to North Vancouver this weekend for the North Shore Invitational.