The L.V. Rogers Bombers senior boys basketball squad had to settle for second place at the J. Lloyd Crowe Hawks Invitational Tournament held in Trail on the weekend.
It was the local squad’s first action on the hardwood this season.
The Bombers got off to a great start, defeating the host Crowe Hawks 53-35 and then beating the Mount Sentinel Wildcats 58-31 during Friday’s round robin play.
The two victories assured the locals a spot in the tournament final. However they still had to play Vernon’s Kalamalka Lakers on Saturday to close out round robin play in the four-team tournament.
The game turned out to be more important than originally thought.
“We were supposed to play Kal twice that day, once to end the round robin and a second time in the afternoon (in the tourney final),” explained LVR head coach Jeremy Phelan.
However, the Lakers only had seven players at the tournament, two of which became sick and one who injured his knee explained the Bombers’ coach.
“We just ended up canning the last game.”
That made the final round robin game the tournament finale.
A game the Bombers lost 80-55.
The Bombers finished round robin play with a 2-1 record while the Lakers went 3-0.
Despite the loss, the coach was pleased with his squad’s effort, saying they didn’t lose the tournament, rather they finished second in round robin play.
He noted that Tobin Eberle stepped up his game on Saturday, and was effective against the Lakers, scoring 14 points in the loss. While hampered with foul trouble, Eberle was the player of the game for the Bombers.
Bjorn Morris was strong again and finished with 14 points while Ethan Perkins (eight points) was solid and came up with a number of steals leading to fast break points.
Josh Matosevic again showed he belongs on the senior squad, playing big minutes and scoring seven points.
According to Phelan, the Vernon squad “exposed our man-to-man defence” which he said still needs work.
“Kal’s fast break killed us as we picked up fouls from the drive.”
Because of the foul trouble, every player saw time on the court.
In the opening game of the tourney, LVR defeated the host Crowe Hawks 53-35 thanks to a strong performance by player of the game Morris.
Morris scored 14 points, 12 coming in the second half.
Avery Kushner was also strong for the Bombers who led the contest 8-7 after one quarter, 23-14 at the half and 38-23 after three.
Every player hit the score sheet in this game.
The second game, a 58-31 victory over Mount Sentinel Wildcats, was similar to the first as Morris had another strong game and was the leading scorer with 15 points.
Perkins was named player of the game, scoring eight points and playing a great defensive game for the locals.
Grade 10 student Matosevic added 10 points and “looked like he belonged with the older players.”
Again, every player hit the score sheet.
“This was the first basketball game for a couple of guys so it was good,” said Phelan.