Despite being a relatively young team, the L.V. Rogers Senior Bombers boys’ basketball team has advanced to the 2012 AA Provincial Basketball Championships in Kamloops.
The Bombers took the AA Kootenay Zone Tournament in Grand Forks opening up with a lopsided win over Trail’s J.L. Crowe on Friday morning followed by a 61-53 win over the Golden Secondary School Eagles Saturday morning and a 64-49 win over Invermere’s David Thompson Secondary School Lakers in the final that evening.
“I thought it was a great tournament,” explained Bombers’ head coach Ross Naka. “I thought the Kootenay competition was really, really good. We hadn’t seen any East Kootenay teams before this weekend so that was definitely a challenge going into some of the games but they were really competitive games. I thought that we were in tough against Golden and I thought we were in tough against (David Thompson).”
Naka said his team was able to build an early lead against David Thompson in the final and because of that, they were able to sustain an offensive surge that the Lakers made in the second half of the game.
“It gave us a lot of cushion in the third and fourth quarters when they made their runs on us. That kind of lightened the load of those runs they were making on us,” Naka explained, adding that his players played great.
Naka didn’t want to make any predictions about how the Bombers will fare in Kamloops but since he only has a few seniors on the team, it could bode well for the future – the current roster consists of two Grade 12 players, nine from Grade 11 and one from Grade 10.
“We’re dealing with guys that have never been there before and 10 guys that I’m going to take back next year. Hopefully we’ll really be competitive (in Kamloops) – we’ve played a lot of competitive teams this year – and hopefully set the groundwork for going back next year,” Naka said.
The Bombers will likely head to next month’s provincials ranked 16th in the 16-team tournament.
“The goal is to win the Kootenays and go to Kamloops,” said Naka. “We will be practicing today and there will only be 16 other teams in AA ball in BC doing the same thing that are still alive. Now we can go and anything can happen. We have a great opportunity to have four more games added onto the season.”
The zone tournament was played at Grand Forks Secondary School while the provincials are set for TCC Fieldhouse and the Thompson Rivers University gym in Kamloops from March 7 to 10.