Gage Chernoff goes up for a shot during the Eagles’ weekend tournament in Kamloops.

Eagles suffer first two losses of the season

It was a difficult weekend for the GSS Eagles against some game competition in Kamloops.

It was a difficult weekend for the Golden Secondary School’s senior boys’ basketball team that ended with the club going 2-2 against some game competition in Kamloops.

The Eagles, who went into the weekend undefeated in the 2014/2015 season, took losses against Fulton (Vernon) by a 67-56 score and Valleyview (Kamloops)by a 66-54 score.

“Those teams were ready for us, they knew about us…they came out firing and that’s what we have to understand…all these teams are going to play their best games against us so if we don’t play our best game then we are going to be in trouble,” said head coach Kindy Gosal.

Valleyview, the tournament hosts, have been a particularly difficult nemesis for Golden, as they defeated the Eagles twice last season, including a tight victory in Golden at the Kicking Horse Classic.

Despite losing a few starters to graduation, the Kamloops squad bested the Eagles once again, this time by 12 points.

“We just came out sloppy. I think they started on a 12-0 run and after that point the game was neck and neck. Coming out slow like that really hurt us for the rest of the game because we couldn’t close it out,” said Grade 9 student,  John Oszust.

A raucous crowd was on hand for the game, making things difficult on the Eagles, but according to Grade 11 student,  Meva Dhami, the boisterous crowd didn’t pose much of a problem for him.

“When we were taking our free throws they were heckling…I kind of use it as motivation. You use it to your advantage,” Dhami said.

The Eagles also received support from a small but vocal number of parents, family and friends who made the trip to Kamloops to cheer on the team.

Golden managed to take out Salmon Arm by half a dozen points and Mount Elizabeth (Kitimat) by over 50 to close out the weekend at .500.

One of the Eagles’ weaknesses was something that simply can’t be helped. The team played with just seven players and was up against squads with twice that number. That allowed opponents to roll different lines onto the court to take advantage of a tired group of players. Naturally, conditioning is paramount for the short-benched Eagles.

“We work hard in practice,” Dhami said. “But we are going to work harder.”

Golden will travel to Vernon for a tournament this weekend, with a potential rematch against Fulton Secondary looming.