Like a snowball gathering speed and strength down a steep slope, the Golden Eagles simply can’t be stopped so far this season. No one has come particularly close thus far, with the senior boys’ basketball team now boasting a perfect record through three tournaments.
This past weekend it was teams from Alberta and Saskatchewan that bore their wrath at a tournament in Airdrie.
The Eagles “warmed-up” for the weekend with a pasting of a AAAA Saskatchewan school, eventually besting the prairie squad by 60 points.
Golden followed that up with a straight-forward 40 point win over the host Bert Church Chargers before completing the tournament victory with a win over Sir Winston Churchill, a school out of Lethbridge, by an 81-60 score.
“We played our best team basketball for sure (against Sir Winston Churchill). They were a team that was better than any we’ve played so far this year and we just handled them with ease,” player Saje Gosal said. “That team had quick guards, they pressed us…(but) we were calm and we all moved the ball.”
Saje dominated throughout the tournament and was named tournament MVP. Running mate Neal Randhawa grabbed a tournament All-Star nod, and Golden received another excellent performance from its supporting cast, including several three pointers from Kiran Gosal, as has become the norm this season.
“It’s honestly surprising to me because I’m not exactly hitting my threes in practice but when I step out onto the court I just kind of become unconscious. I just have a lot more confidence than in practice which is weird,” Kiran said.
Josh Hiroaka and Meva Dhami contributed their regular dose of secondary scoring and rebounding in the finals, while Randhawa went for over 30 points and Saje notched 25 of his own.
The Eagles will have some time off now over Christmas, but they’ll be back on the court for a pair of practices on Jan. 2 and 3 in the new year.
“I guess we gotta trust each other to stay in shape,” said Randhawa about the long Christmas break. “Most of us go to the gym on a daily basis so that’s not going to be that much of an issue.”
While the Eagles had sky high expectations going into the season, it would have been tough to project that they’d be undefeated entering the Christmas break.
“All of our players returned except for one guy,” said first year player John Oszust. “I don’t want to say that we expected (to be undefeated), but we know that we’re able to compete with the top teams in British Columbia.”
Goldenites are taking notice of the Eagles squad that is now slotted as the 5th ranked AA team in the province. A sizeable number of family, friends and fans turned up for the tournament this weekend and the supporters even started a boisterous chant during one of the Eagles’ games.
“It was just cool to see everyone there,” Saje said.
“I was surprised at the amount of people we had coming out…we were able to push through teams just with the crowd behind us.”
They’ll be back in tournament action on January 8 when they travel to Valleyview Secondary in Kamloops. The Eagles have had some intense games with the Valleyview Vikes in the past and will be looking to exact a measure of revenge for a pair of defeats a year ago.