Golden Secondary’s senior boys’ basketball team didn’t get the result they wanted at provincials, but it would be hard to call their season anything but a resounding success regardless.
In the opening round of the AA provincials, the third-seeded Eagles were matched up against the hometown Langley Christian Lightning. Golden got behind 28-10 by the end of the first quarter and that proved to be too big of a hole to dig out of.
“They came out and shot really well. Their shooting percentage was really high, they were just hitting all of their shots and that put us back on our heels a bit there,” said head coach Kindy Gosal. “That’s what happens in the provincial championships, the hot teams win.”
The Eagles eventually fell by a 90-73 count final to put themselves in the consolation bracket after the opening round.
“I find that when teams come out (like that) they end up taking it…We found it really tough coming from behind,” said guard Kiran Gosal.
“(Their quick start) kind of takes something out of you when you’re playing because you can’t really stop them when they are hitting all of their shots,” said graduating forward Neal Randhawa.
If the Eagles were short on motivation after dropping to the consolation round, they certainly didn’t show it in their next game with the Kwalikum Kondors.
Golden led from tee to green in an 83-44 romp.
“It was definitely hard to get motivated for those games since we’d already failed in achieving our goal…after that (opening loss), but for myself I really wanted to get that win because I hate getting used to losing,” Kiran said. “We played really well as a team (against Kwalikum).”
The Eagles fell in their final two consolation games to put a wrap on their season.
Looking back on the entirety of their year, Golden earned a sparkling 25-7 record while winning five tournaments throughout the season.
“Tough weekend at the provincials but we had a great season…This is probably one of the strongest teams we’ve ever put forward out of this community and I’m really proud of these guys and the work that they put in all year, what they did and what they accomplished,” Kindy said.
Kindy plans to return for another year as the team’s head coach (“If they’ll have me,” he joked) along with veteran starters Kiran and Meva Dhami, and rookie standout John Oszust.
Oszust was unable to play in Langley due to what appears to be a partial tear of his ACL but is already looking forward to next year.
“It was a very good experience and it taught me a lot of stuff, not just about basketball but about life in general,” he said.
Graduating players Reece Williams, Gage Chernoff, Vikram Sidhu, Saje Gosal, Josh Hiraoka and Randhawa won’t be returning, meaning that the senior team will have to fill numerous spots with new blood next year.
Randhawa hopes to continue his basketball career at the post-secondary level, but admits he will miss playing high school ball in Golden.
“It kind of takes a chunk out of you because you always look forward to (high school) basketball season and coming back next year, you can’t look forward to it because you’re done, you’re graduated…it’s emotional to think back on it,” Randhawa said.
Saje is also planning to play basketball at the next level, although both he and Randhawa won’t know where they’ll be playing until later this spring.