It was a battle between Terrace and Prince Rupert for the northwest AA senior boys basketball zone title, with the coastal city ultimately prevailing to qualify for provincials.
Caledonia’s senior boys opened up the tournament with a 81-46 win over Smithers Secondary, eliminating them from the tournament and setting up the best of three series final between Prince Rupert’s Charles Hays Secondary and Cal.
Cal controlled the first half of the first game, with the score 32-19 going into the second half and Cal dominating defensively.
But the second half was quite the opposite, with Prince Rupert outscoring Terrace 36-16.
“With three minutes left in the game, the score was 48-39 for us,” said coach Joe Dominguez. “And we couldn’t score for the life of us.”
Cal turned the ball over and Rupert took advantage of it, outscoring Cal 20-7 in the last quarter and ultimately winning 55-48.
High scorers for Cal were Cam Netzel with 21 points, Tristan Walker with nine, and Alex Banovic with six points.
“The second game started off very well for us,” he said.
“Our boys played inspired basketball and played with energy despite losing our top scorer Cam Netzel due to an ankle injury. Cal did a tremendous job on the defensive end.”
Cal held them to 12 points at the half, with the score 31-12.
Rupert made a run in the fourth quarter and closed the gap, but Cal was able to hold them off and ended up winning by a score of 53-43, setting up a do-or-die final.
High scorers for that game were Alex Banovic with 18 pts, Marek Ormerod with 10 pts, Keel Haldane with 13, and Drew Kenmuir with eight.
The team would then see its second injury of the tournament.
“Unfortunately, we lost Drew Kenmuir (a senior) with a concussion,” he said, of the final. “Again, Cal had to dig deep in order to stay in the game and that they did.”
Prince Rupert had the upper edge to start off the second half with a score of 22-18, and increase that lead to 51-41 for the win.
“It was a well-fought game but Prince Rupert were able to hit more shots than we did,” he said.
“It was a tough loss, but I am proud of how my boys played. They played with pride and left it all on the floor.”