The L.V. Rogers boys basketball team

Coach sees silver lining in L.V. Rogers’ 15th place finish

There are 90 AA boys basketball teams in BC. L.V. Rogers coach Ross Naka reminds himself that in assessing his team’s trip to provincials.

There are 90 AA boys basketball teams in BC.

L.V. Rogers coach Ross Naka reminds himself that when assessing his team’s 1-and-3 record and 15th place finish at the provincials in Kamloops last week.

Although they were second last, they still achieved more than 75 other teams.

“I’m not the kind of guy to say ‘We’re just happy to be here,’ but to win a game there and finish 15th in the province is a tremendous accomplishment,” Naka says. “That gets lost in the shuffle sometimes.”

He admits the field was tougher than he expected, with greater parity than in most years. LVR, which entered as the last seed, had two other handicaps: it was the youngest team by far, and wasn’t at the tournament last year. Entering the big gym at Thompson Rivers University was also “daunting” for those who had never played there.

Naka, still raspy-voiced on Monday, said he set no specific goal for his team except to compete hard and not get outworked.

“Let’s be able to look in the mirror at the end and say we competed our asses off. I’m more than happy with that every time,” he says.

LVR opened Wednesday with a 63-38 loss to top seed and eventual champion Mission, whom Naka describes as “amazingly good,” then fell the following day 88-55 to South Okanagan — a team they beat earlier in the year.

“Oliver was the No. 9 seed, which blew my mind,” Naka says. “I thought they were much better than that, but when you start to see all the teams, they were right where they should be.”

Game three on Friday was a 72-56 loss to host Sa-Hali, and then Saturday saw LVR salvage the tournament by defeating Charles Hays of Prince Rupert 73-67.

“That was a tough win. You just think you’re going to get at least one cakewalk, and that’s not how it was this year,” Naka says.

Although reluctant to single out individuals, he praised Adam Grace and John Zak, his only Grade 12 students.

“They took turns leading us on the court and off,” he says. “Not the most outspoken guys, but lead-by-example guys. When everyone’s losing their minds — myself included — they’re calm, cool, and collected. I can’t say how much I appreciate what they did for us.”

Overall, Naka says the real value in the tournament was the experienced gained, setting the stage for next year: “I have guys who want to start practicing again next week.”

Mission defeated St. Thomas More of Burnaby 70-56 in the final.

DeVries connects with alma mater

Nelson basketball legend Greg DeVries was an assistant coach with G.W. Graham of Chilliwack, which finished third at the tournament.

DeVries doesn’t teach there but is involved because his son is expected to attend the school.

“On the second night he took some time out and had some words with our squad, which was just awesome,” Naka says. “It was great to have 15-20 minutes with him. He came to our last game that we won.”

DeVries, who played for LVR in the early ‘90s, still owns every individual scoring at the tournament. He went on to a stellar career at the University of Alberta.

Just Posted

Nelson won’t restrict parking amnesty to West Kootenay

So far, more than 800 people have responded with amnesty payments

Coldest Night of the Year walk set for Feb. 23

The annual event raises money for Nelson CARES ‘Ready for Home’ program

Castlegar council set to rule on three retail cannabis proposals

Residents have until Dec. 27 to comment on the business proposals

Nelson Boxing named province’s top club

The club won several awards while going 13-1 at provincials

Nelson council rejects review of mayor’s salary

Mayor Dooley proposed that $10,000 of his pay be put in trust and a review undertaken

Cannabis gift ideas for this holiday season

Put the green in happy holidays, now that cannabis is legal in Canada

B.C. man linked to human remains probe gets absolute discharge on unrelated mischief count

Curtis Sagmoen was in Vernon Law Courts Dec. 13 for a mischief trial

Supreme Court upholds Canada’s right to reargue facts in assisted-dying case

Julia Lamb and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association are spearheading a challenge of the law

B.C. company facing several charges in 2017 chicken abuse case

CFIA investigation leads to 38 charges against Elite Farm Services and Ontario-based Sofina Foods

Woman forcibly confined, sexually assaulted between Creston and Cranbrook

The suspect forced the woman into her vehicle before driving along Highway 3

‘I thought I was dead as soon as I saw the gun’

Keremeos gas station attendant tells story about man with gun coming to store

‘People talk about deep sadness:’ Scientists study climate change grief

Some call it environmental grief, some call it solastalgia — a word coined for a feeling of homesickness when home changes around you.

As protectors abandon Trump, investigation draws closer

Cohen was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for an array of crimes.

Senate delays start of sittings in new home, delaying start of broadcasts

The Senate and House of Commons are moving into temporary homes for the next decade as a result of long-planned and badly needed renovations to the Centre Block.

Most Read