Sports

Wild Senior Boys basketball team ends successful season

Scott Watmough goes to the net against the Tamanawis Wildcats during the AAA Basketball Championship first round game in Langley. - John Gordon
Scott Watmough goes to the net against the Tamanawis Wildcats during the AAA Basketball Championship first round game in Langley.
— image credit: John Gordon

As their season is winding down, local basketball teams are returning to the Kootenays from B.C. Provincials. Recently back in town from the championship tournament in Langley are the Mount Baker Wild Senior AAA Boys.

“We went 2-2 which is better than what Mount Baker usually does at Provincials,” says coach Rick Stechly. He emphasizes all the players on his team played to their potential against stiff competition.

The Wild showed some tournament jitters in their first game against the Tamanawis  Wildcats from the Fraser Valley. “The boys were really nervous,” Stechly remembers, “we didn’t shoot well at all.”

Part of their discomfort was due to the game’s location at the Langley Events Centre. “It’s not like playing in a school gym,” Stechly explains. There are no walls around the court and the playing field takes on a different perspective.

In the end. the team from Cranbrook lost the game by 30 points with a score of 41-71 and Stechly thinks they should have been a lot closer.

The Wild were back on track in their second match-up against the Caledonia Kermodes that was played in the gym next door where the Trinity Western University team hosts their home games. Stechly says the Baker team played a very good game and shooting from the outside opened up the rest of the game for the Wild.

The Wild dominated their next game against their opponents from Prince George. “We killed them,” Stechly grins. “We shot well, we played excellent defence and all aspects of our game were on track.”

The final score was  84-33 and that gave Baker the highest scoring difference in any of the games of the tournament. Stechly is especially proud that all players had at least 15 minutes on the court and every one of them made it onto the score sheet.

In their last game of the tournament, the Wild were matched up with the top-ranked team from Vancouver Island, the Dover Bay Dolphins from Nanaimo. Stechly says they had seen the Dolphins in action in the tournament where they appeared to struggle a bit.

Baker went into the game, thinking they had a chance of winning, but found it difficult to get a clean shot as a big Dover Bay team held their attackers in check. In the end, Dover Bay took the game 66-43.

Although they were hoping to have one more win, Stechly says going 2-2 is a good result. Playing about 90 per cent of their season’s games in Alberta, the Wild always go into Provincials unranked and have to work specially hard to get to the championship side of the tournament.

Stechly says Provincials were a good end to a great season for Mount Baker. After winning only one game in their first seven matches, the Wild ended up with a 24-16 record, including tournament wins at home and at the Brooks March Madness.

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