Jackson Mayes of the SAS Golds makes a push up the left side of the court during the opening game of the Golds’ Invitational Tournament against Kelowna Christian School, Jan. 18. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

Salmon Arm Secondary Golds take first place in home tournament

Basketball team breaks historic losing streak, undefeated in tournament

The Salmon Arm Secondary Golds basketball team ended a historical losing streak and took the top spot in their home tournament over the last week.

On Jan. 15, in Kelowna, the Golds defeated the KSS Owls 93-76, marking the first time a senior boys’ team from Salmon Arm has defeated Kelowna Secondary since 2004. With Salmon Arm’s win, both teams are tied in league play, with SAS moving to the top of the leader board in the Okanagan Valley 4A League.

The Golds were lead by Noah Jansen, who dominated inside the paint in the second half and scored 20 points. Daniel Wyss, who hit 6 threes from beyond the arc, had 18 points, Alton Neid who scored five threes of his own added 16 points, Evan Smith had 15 points and five assists, while Silas Hecker rounded out the Golds’ strong offensive output with seven points, 10 rebounds and five assists.

If the Golds win their last three games in league play, they will remain on top of the league standings, and head into the Valley Championships as the number one seed. This is something that the Golds are obviously striving for and something that hasn’t been accomplished by the Senior Golds program for a long time.

The Golds took this winning mindset into their home tournament over the weekend. In the Golds’ first contest of the tournament, SAS defeated Kelowna Christian School 92-49.

Evan Smith led all scorers with 20 points, while Noah Jansen had 18 points, Gavin Limber added 14 points, and Alton Neid chipped in 9 points and had 6 assists which led the team.

In the Golds’ second game, they defeated South Kamloops Secondary 78-67.

Once again, Evan Smith led all scorers with 28 points going five for eight beyond the three point arc, Jackson Mayes added 12 points, Noah Jansen had 10 points and Alton Neid led the team with eight assists.

In a much anticipated final, the Golds were matched up against Vernon Secondary, who is provincially ranked third in the division. After losing a physical and hard fought battle to the Panthers at the Fulton Tournament last week, Salmon Arm was looking forward to competing with VSS once again.

In a game that remained close throughout and saw several lead changes, the Golds eventually pulled away and defeated Vernon 101-88 in the end, sealing the tournament victory and taking the top spot. Evan Smith led the Golds and all scorers with 36 points in the final game hitting 7 three pointers from beyond the arc and going 11 for 13 from the charity stripe. Silas Hecker, who had an excellent game, went 100% from the field, eight for nine from the line, and scored 20 points. Rounding out the Golds’ scoring was Gavin Limber who had 14 points and Alton Neid who had 13 points and once again led the team in assists with eight.

To complete a busy week of basketball, the Golds completed the weekend with a victory on Sunday over the Penticton Lakers 82-46. In a game that would determine the standings in Valley league play, the Golds were able to overcome their tournament fatigue and hold down a victory. The Golds controlled the game from the start, and Salmon Arm took it to the Lakers once again for the second time in a week. Focused on continuing to improve their overall team defense and sharing of the ball on offense, the Golds held the Lakers in check at the defensive end and moved the ball on offense by completing 320 passes. Leading the Golds on the score sheet were Silas Hecker and Evan Smith who had 17 points each for Salmon Arm, while Gavin Limber added 13 points of his own in a game that saw everyone on the team contribute at both ends of the floor.

The Golds will be refocusing and gearing up for a tournament in Winfield next weekend. Their first game in the George Elliot Tournament will be Friday, Jan. 25 at 5 p.m. against Seaton Secondary from Vernon. The Golds’ next home game will be their final game of the season at home against the Rutland Voo Doos from Kelowna on Feb. 5. The Jewels play at 6:00 and the Golds play at 7:45, which will be senior night for both teams. The Golds are hoping for a big and noisy crowd in their final league game at home as it will have big implications heading into the Valley play-offs.

Submitted by Aaron Smith

 

Matthew Paiement of the Golds takes a wide stance and throws up his hands while blocking a KCS player making his way up the court during their game in the Golds’ Invitational Tournament, Jan. 18. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

Jackson Mayes throws a pass out from his chest while attempting to get the ball out into neutral space during a game against Kelowna Christian School in the Golds’ Invitational Tournament, Jan 18. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

Daniel Wyss of the Golds eyes up a clear path to the net during a game against Kelowna Christian School in the Golds’ Invitational Tournament, Jan. 18. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

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