Playoffs may be finished, but basketball continues to be in the news these days. In fact, trivia fans will be well aware that history was made in the recent NBA draft.
That would be due to young Anthony Bennett, a freshman forward at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, who became the first Canadian-born player to ever be selected as No.1 in the draft. Bennett, 20, was taken by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Just in case you’re wondering, when Victoria’s Steve Nash was drafted by the Phoenix Suns back in 1996, he was the 15th pick.
So who knows – it’s just possible that some other future stars were involved in this year’s elementary school boys’ basketball playoffs. Mike Ireland was the coordinator for the league for teams from schools with a population greater than 275 students and he reports that fifteen teams participated in post-season playoffs.
In the championship final, the Rock City entry emerged victorious, by way of a 48-40 decision over McGirr. On the winning team were players Sawyer Bray, Dion Dennis-Martin, Dawson Heathcote, Ryder Jenks, Drew Johnson, Eli Bueckert, Iskand Zhaksybek, Cody MacArthur, Ryan Waatainen and Nate Seaman. Coaches for the team were Brad Jenks and Dustin Olsen, with Mike Ingalls the staff sponsor.
On the runner-up McGirr squad, players were Joey DeRosa, Jonathan Wigmore, Zach Taylor, Alexander Thorsteinsson, Lane Schad, Thomas Wright, Peter Lee, Mitchell Sanderson and Ryan Humphreys. Ben Rudson coached the boys, assisted by Michael Pereira, Wesley Richardson, Chris Wigmore and Tanya Peace.
In the consolation final, Cinnabar Valley prevailed 38-21 over Randerson Ridge. Matt Kuzminski coached the Cinnabar team, comprised of players Brooks Branchi, Dominic Boar, Zach Blanchard, Cody McVie, Jacob Sutton, Cohen Inglis, Jayden Duns, Ethan Gosau, Trey Morrison-Woolcock and Clayton White.
On the court for Randerson were Kyle Pow, Garrett Stalker, Brandon Hannibal, Brayden Turnbull, Colton Goldsbury, Donovon Merner, Jay Panchal, Jackson Isnor, Aurgha Das, D.G. Hattingh and Jared Houghton. Team coach was Colin Murphy and sponsor was Terry Mazzei.
A separate boys’ league for teams from smaller schools in the district was coordinated by Shawn Weighill. Playoffs resulted in a first-place pennant for the entry from Departure Bay Elementary, coached by Lisa Frey. Representing their school were players Richard Zhang, Ben Coates, Garrett Olson, Alex Bloedorn, Ryan Mattu, Sasha Farenholtz, Hunter MacDonald, Holt Woychuk and Sungoo Park.
District runners-up were the boys from Davis Road. Sean Walsh coached the squad, consisting of players Rhys Mazurenko, Zachary Morneau, Grayson MacDonald, Colton Van Der Minne, Ethan Park-James, Laine Wilson, Aiden Letang, Keiran Morneau and Ethan Anderson.
Coach Terri Holman saw her Frank J. Ney team capture third place in the playoffs. Team members included Aiden Holman, Rhys Ekland, Josh Colonna, Leo Shin, Aidan Wonnacott, Matthew Binning, Matt Rurka, Evan Milne, Ethan Johnston, Graham Dimos, Kristian Owen and Aaron Melville.
The fourth-place pennant went to Cilaire, where Mike Silverton provided the coaching for players Nik Silins, Naslund Beausoleil, Christian Clifton, Jared Christiansen, Josh Duifhuis, Owen Morrison, Ben Whiting, Hugh Joly, Wyatt McKay, Jacob Houtman, Rowan Mayer, Ryan Harrison and Brandon Gray.
At the secondary school level this past year, congratulations to the Senior AA boys’ team from Wellington Secondary. The Wildcats, coached by Glenn Johnson and Luke Letham, placed second at the Islands and 12th at the provincials. Players were Adam Jackson, Laim Mackay, Kam O’Keefe, Malcolm Rush, Keenan Daniels, Elijah Thornton, Dustin Olsen, Aaron Copley, Dylan Dorsey, Cohl Nicholson, Nick Roshuk, Brad Jenks, Tyler Radelja and Ethan Schulz.
The Grade 9 boys’ team from Dover Bay also did especially well, winning the district and North Island title, placing second at the Islands and then 9th at the B.C.’s. Kel Reed was the coach for players Ben Davies, Adam Humphreys, Alex Hurren, Kenny Jeong, Travis Maley, Quinn Mirau, Seamus O’Toole, Patrick Pichon, Maxwell Reed, Jordan Smith and Jeff Webb.
Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship