The Caledonia Kermodes’ season came to a close on a winning note at the AA Provincials in Langley on March 16, placing 14 out of 20 after proudly representing their school and community with the best in B.C.
With the exception of the top five teams, the competition was quite even. Terrace was close to a top eight finish – one crucial game was lost in the final seconds of play.
The team started off with a big win over Burnaby Mountain that boasted seven lead changes and seven ties before the Kermodes crept away from the Lions.
Terrace was down by two at the half but Marcus MacKay sparked the team up in the second half, dropping five of his seven “treys” to lead all scorers with 30 points. Kermodes outscored their opponents by 11 in the second frame for a 59-50 victory. MacKay was named player of the game. Reegin Maki added 13 points and Patrick Kurek seven in support of the Kermode win.
In game two, Kermodes were up against the number three ranked Yale Lions of Abbotsford, a perennial powerhouse from the Fraser Valley. Terrace got off to a bad start – decent looks at the hoop but couldn’t get the ball to drop – as the Lions shot a blistering 75 per cent, leaving the Kermodes down 27- 6 after the first frame.
But then the Kermodes rallied. With extra pressure being applied to MacKay and Maki, Patrick Kurek shouldered the weight of the offence and allowed the team to show it could play with the top teams. In the end, the Kermodes fell 95 – 63 but were inspired by the fact Yale had to play its starting five for almost the whole game, while the Kermodes went to their bench for support earlier. Kermodes were led in scoring by Patrick Kurek with 21, Marcus MacKay and Reegin Maki with 13 each and Kynan Finnie with eight.
Then the Kermodes faced the number one team off Vancouver Island, the Claremont Spartans, for a very physical and intense game that was decided at the foul line – unfortunately the Kermodes’ Achilles heel for this game. Both teams struggled offensively due to the aggressiveness of the play. With a minute and a half left, the Kermodes went one for six from the charity stripe and a paltry 15 of 27 overall.
The final score was a heartbreaking 49-48 for the Spartans, a loss that took them out of a placement in the top eight. Down by one with 11 seconds left, the Kermodes were unable to execute a play or a shot during that time, which left them with a very empty feeling at game’s end. It was definitely the one that got away. Kermodes were led in scoring by player of the game Reegin Maki with 23 points and Marcus MacKay with 13.
For game four, the team met the seventh ranked Bulldogs of Sir Winston Churchill – an important game after their devastating loss the previous day. Both teams came out focused and intense, making for a very exciting game with 11 lead changes and 11 ties. Terrace put up 27 points to Churchill’s 24 in the first quarter but slipped a little in the second quarter to be down 44-41 at the half.
The game came right down to the wire once again with the score 72-69 for the Bulldogs and with 19 seconds left, the Kermodes were able to execute a play that put them in a position to tie the game. Mackay ran off a couple screens to receive the ball outside for a chance at a three-point basket. The shot looked good but went in and out before settling into the hands of a Bulldog player who was promptly fouled by the Kermodes. With only three seconds left, the Bulldog player hit both foul shots to sink any hopes of a second chance to tie. They all had a stand out game in the loss and showed a great deal of pride and heart in coming back after the previous day’s loss.
The final game of the tournament for the Kermodes, against the Mt. Baker Trojans of Cranbrook, was previously decided as a gem that all players would get some time on the floor – and with 17 players it was not an easy task, but co-coach Joe Dominguez made it work. Terrace easily walked away with a victory, outscoring the opponents 75-46. Kermodes were led in scoring by Marcus MacKay’s 18 points. Player of the game Reegin Maki with 17 and the remaining scoring was picked up by 13 other Kermodes. This marked the last game as head coach for Cam MacKay. Joe Dominguez will take over the reins and with MacKay’s welcome assistance.
The team left the tournament satisfied with its efforts but slightly disappointed in the two losses that could have gone either way. The boys proved to all the teams that they were there to compete and rivalled those teams in the top 10. Considering the disadvantage of lacking same-division competition, except for the few games against the Queen Charlottes, throughout the majority of the season the Kermodes showed extremely well.
“I am very proud of the way the kids competed with the top teams of the province and they should have no regrets in the efforts they brought to the table,” said coach Cam MacKay. “I am always happy to see them perform well on the ultimate high school sports stage.”
And Marcus MacKay received recognition of his tournament play by receiving a $2,000 basketball scholarship at the awards ceremony. Five $2,000 scholarships were handed out that night to deserving players of the tournament.
A very rewarding accomplishment for Marcus and ultimately his Kermode teammates, who all can take pride in any of the individual and team awards received by players and the team.