The senior Mustang boys’ basketball tournament was planned for eight teams — but the weather had different intentions, with heavy snow causing challenges for Interior teams.
“JV Humphries from Slocan had to turn around at Grand Forks,” said athletics coordinator, Jeremy Smith. Troubles then turned to Highway #1.
An assistant coach and a player from 100 Mile House were involved in a multi-vehicle crash near Yale, Friday. The rest of the team were ahead of them and made it safely to Hope for their match against the Mustangs. Meanwhile, the entire Williams Lake team was stuck behind the crash scene and were delayed in getting to Hope.
Smith then had to get flexible on his scheduling.
“We put together a team made up of players from multiple teams, to play in JV Humphries’ place,” he said. “It was a lot of fun to watch and the kids enjoyed it.
“Williams Lake arrived late, so we had to bump games and call teams back to make games happen earlier. On Saturday, the final was played earlier, to get Quesnel back on the road. It was a good tourney overall, with close games,” said Smith.
The Mustangs hit the court hard, in their opening match against 100 Mile. Kayden Araki set the tone with a steal and breakaway lay-up in the first few seconds of the game. The grade 9 speedster went on to score 30-plus points, as did senior, Nic Kamp. The two were rewarded with plenty of bench time in the runaway game, so coach Jake Giles could give the back-ups some valuable game experience.
Kamp and Araki took part on the JV Humphries replacement team, though Giles later realized that the extra game took its toll.
“A couple of our guys played long and hard in that game and our conditioning on Saturday wasn’t good,” said Giles. “Kayden was just dead, on Saturday and he had no legs left. And Nic got in foul trouble in the first quarter against Williams Lake, so I had to use him sparingly and he only scored 9 points. He needs to be a 20 or 30 points producer, for us to be successful.
“When guys are tired, they try to do the easy thing rather than the correct thing,” he added. “In the last game against Quesnel, we were out of gas.”
Williams Lake took first overall, followed by Quesnel and Ashcroft. Hope was in the middle of the pack.
Tuesday’s league games at Agassiz for the senior boys and girls were postponed, due to weather and it may be well into next week before the schedule can resume.