Team plays well, learns a lot in Vancouver

  • Jan. 17, 2014 1:00 p.m.

The Queen Charlotte seniors boys’ basketball team tipped off against some of the top teams in the province in Vancouver last week, returning home with five wins, one loss and a “most sportsmanlike team” title. Coach Dave Wahl said the 13-member team played extremely well and learned a lot about where they need to improve. The Vancouver trip was an important step on the team’s road to the provincial AAAA championships in March, he said. The boys’ first game was against Elgin Park Secondary of Surrey. Although the school is about 10 times as big as Queen Charlotte, the Queen Charlotte team beat them by 40 points. “It was basically an easy warm-up game,” Mr. Wahl said. Next up was Vancouver College, a private school whose basketball team is ranked among the top 10 in the province. “We beat them by about 25 points,” Mr. Wahl said. “That was a big deal, to beat one of the top 10 teams.” In that game, Nate Vogstad and Duncan Rumak each earned about 26 points, while Jesse Barnes pulled in 22 points, he said. The team then played in an eight-school invitational tournament hosted by Sir Winston Churchill Secondary. In their first game, they beat Templeton Secondary by 40 points, but then fell to the host team, a team that is ranked second in the province and ninth in the country. It was a tough loss. “Unfortunately, the kids just didn’t play well,” Mr. Wahl said. “They beat us really badly. It was really disappointing… We were just not ready for how good a team at that level can play.” Mr. Wahl said the Queen Charlotte team has just as much talent as other top teams, but the Sir Winston Churchill team was extremely well organized and disciplined. The Charlotte team spent hours going over what happened and how to fix it. “We had a long meeting, late into the night,” Mr. Wahl said. “We need to be more organized, tougher, fitter.” The final game in the tournament was against Killarney Secondary, which Charlotte won by about 30 points. Queen Charlotte finished third in the tournament, and was awarded the most sportsmanlike team title. “To win that, you’ve got to be somewhat friendly to the other teams, and not yell at the referees,” Mr. Wahl said. “These are really nice kids, they’re polite and thankful.” Jesse Barnes was named first team all-star for the tournament, and Duncan Rumak and Brandon Gibbard were named second team all-stars. On Saturday, the team played a final exhibition game against Seaquam Secondary in Delta. Although they were tired, Mr. Wahl said, they won by 25 points, giving them a five-one record for the week. The team’s return to Haida Gwaii was delayed by a day due to bad weather which forced Sunday’s Pacific Coastal flight to turn around and go back to Vancouver. They got back on Monday afternoon. Next up for the team is some intensive fundraising. They’ll be running the concession at this weekend’s clan tournament in Skidegate to raise money, while continuing to train. At the end of January, the team will be travelling to Prince Rupert to play teams from Rupert, Terrace and Kitimat. Following that, the team will be practising steadily to prepare for the AAAA championship tournament. Although Queen Charlotte is the smallest school in BC with a senior boys’ basketball team, it has been invited to compete at the AAAA level – the top level – in recognition of the basketball talent here.Note: The version of this story printed in the Observer Thursday incorrectly reported the last name of Jesse Barnes.

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