The Salmon Arm Senior Golds basketball team competed at the OKM Senior Boys’ Tournament held in Kelowna this past weekend.
The Golds began the tournament on Friday night with an easy win over Seaton from Vernon, 82-52. Silas Hecker, Daniel Wyss and Evan Smith had 14 points apiece, while Alton Neid added 10 points of his own.
In their second game, the Golds took on PVSS from Armstrong and defeated the Saints 86-36. Evan Smith led all scorers with 19 points, which included five three pointers, while Noah Vieria-Shay added 17 points and Daniel Wyss chipped in 11 points.
The final game of the tournament posed a greater challenge for the Golds as they took on the host OKM Huskies. In a game that was up-tempo and had good intensity, the Golds led throughout the contest until the last 22 seconds of the game.
The Golds were up 73-66 with just over two minutes left in the game but the Huskies still had some fight left in them. OKM took control of the game and scored 11 unanswered points to defeat the young Golds 77-73.
Although Salmon Arm was unable to put the game away in the end, head coach Aaron Smith said he saw lots of positives throughout the contest.
“Other than the last two minutes of the game, the Golds played a better team game at both the defensive and offensive ends of the court for most of the game. The Gold’s intensity and level of competence against a skilled and talented team was also better throughout most of the game,” he said.
Smith added that improvements can be seen in the Golds’ play, but the young team still lacks poise and composure.
“The breakdown of basic defensive fundamentals prevented the Golds from closing out a game that could have easily been theirs” Smith said “Better coaching down the stretch and clock management would have also given our team a better chance.”
Smith said the team has lots of talent and potential and welcomes challenging learning experiences like they faced against OKM.
The Golds move towards the Christmas break with five games on the schedule. First, the Golds take on the Mount Boucherie Bears on Tuesday night after the Observer’s print deadline. The Golds compete against a men’s team on Wednesday night at SAS, and finally, they travel to the south Okanagan for Penticton’s Sr. Boys’ Tournament on Thursday and Friday to close out the week.