The Golden senior boys’ basketball team completed a four game sweep of their Kicking Horse Classic competition with impressive wins over LV Rogers and Sahali (Kamloops) on Saturday.
The Eagles were tested throughout the early part of this morning’s game against Sahali and held narrow 18-16 and 26-20 leads in a close back-and-forth affair. What was particularly troubling was the team’s foul trouble. The Eagles took 16 fouls in the first half alone, drawing the ire of head coach Kindy Gosal on more than one occasion.
“Officiating is officiating, sometimes I disagree with the officials and sometimes they disagree with me…it is what it is,” Kindy said following the game.
The Eagles, or the refs, depending on your perspective, cleaned up their act in the second half and the Eagles took just a handful of fouls the rest of the way while the gap widened on the scoreboard.
Golden posted 26 points in the third quarter to Sahali’s 12 to give themselves a commanding 65-40 lead heading into the final quarter.
The Eagles nursed the lead in the final frame, winning by a 74-52 count.
“Every team that plays us, every team that comes here is going to give us their best shot,” Kindy said.
“They tailed off and our skill took over in the second half…but in the first half they came out really hard and they took it to us.”
Later, Golden played perhaps its best game in the their final game against LV Rogers to secure the championship.
The Eagles, who had struggled in the first few minutes of their previous contests, looked comfortable from the opening tip, taking a 38-19 halftime lead. Golden held a 58-32 lead after three periods and ended up with a dominant 80-42 victory when all was said and done.
Saje Gosal and Neal Randhawa were named tournament all-stars for the home team, in what will be their final tourney in front of their home fans.
“We’ve practiced here ever since Grade 8 so we really wanted to make sure that we protected (home court) and ended on a good note,” Randhawa said.
“It was pretty emotional.”
Not to be forgotten, Meva Dhami provided energy, timely rebounds and steals and his fair share of points throughout the tournament’s four games.
“Sometimes the team just gets a bit down on ourselves when things aren’t going our way. What I try to do is just bring my energy as much as I can on defence, whether it’s stealing balls, getting rebounds, shutting down another team’s best player, I just try my best,” Dhami said.
John Oszust, Josh Hiraoka and Kiran Gosal were among Golden’s other standouts in the winning effort.
Next for the Eagles will be the Kootenay Zone Tournament in Kimberley, which will determine the team that will represent this region at the Provincials in Langley.
Randhawa feels the Eagles are well prepared for the challenges to come.
“I feel like we’re ready to move forward…we’re confident going into the Kootenay Zones,” he said.
The Kootenay Zones will take place on Feb. 21 and 22 while the provincials are scheduled for Mar. 11-14.