Golden Secondary’s senior boys’ basketball team didn’t get the tournament win they were looking for, but they did show a significant level of improvement and walked away with a solid second place finish.
Coming off a disappointing tournament in Kamloops, the Eagles were looking for a better effort this past weekend in Vernon and achieved that by finishing as the runner-ups to Fulton Secondary, the tournament hosts.
In the opener, the Eagles beat a version of the Fulton team they would later face in the finals by a 70-54 score. Because one of the teams dropped out, Fulton split their squad for the tournament’s preliminary matches before combining them in the finals.
After that, the Eagles got into a defensive battle with Vernon Secondary School and grabbed a tight 53-45 victory before taking out Westsyde Secondary out of Kamloops by a lopsided 72-44 count.
Against Fulton again, this time with their opponents at full strength, the Eagles succumbed to the host team in a 70-56 loss which was closer than the 14-point gap would seem to indicate. The championship was a one point game at the half and the Eagles trailed by just a handful after three quarters before Fulton took over late in the fourth.
Still, head coach Kindy Gosal was pleased with what he saw from his group.
“It was so much better than the weekend before and the effort was fantastic,” he said.
Saje Gosal and Neal Randhawa were named tournament all-stars but the Eagles received notable contributions from others as well.
“We got a really good performance from Meva Dhami on the boards,” Kindy said. “Gage Chernoff gave us key minutes as well.”
The Eagles have suffered from a short bench at times this season which has proved costly against large teams that can stay fresh into the fourth quarter. Fortunately, they’ll receive a bit of a boost in that department as Invermere’s Reece Williams has officially joined the Eagles’ cause because his home high school is without a team this year.
“He played really well. He had a great first weekend with us. He’s a nice addition to the team,” Kindy said.
Golden will now have a weekend off as they get ready for a tournament in Medicine Hat that promises to provide the team with a tough test as they move into the second half of their season. Locals will have a rare chance to check out the Eagles on the weekend of Feb. 13 and 14 when they’ll host this year’s edition of the Kicking Horse Classic.