One of the island’s biggest sporting events is coming back this weekend, as the Gulf Islands Secondary School senior boys basketball team prepares to host the 15th edition of the Nairn Howe Memorial basketball tournament.
Action starts on Friday at 11 a.m. as the local boys take on Duncan Christian. The Scorpions are going in to the tournament with a 6-3 record, which they are hoping to build on through the weekend.
Coaches Myles Wilson and Tony Mason are optimistic about the team’s prospects, saying that the young squad shows promise this season.
“I think we’re looking strong. We’ve got a fairly young crew, there’s only four grade 12s. The younger guys are really coming along, they’re stepping up and I feel they should do well in the tournament as long as they play hard and do good defence,” Wilson said.
“We’re quite competitive this year,” Mason added. “Not too many teams should blow us out of the water.”
The team has been focused on building defensive skills this year, which the coaches say will naturally feed into their offence as well. Practice has been paying off for the team, who are starting to see the fruits of their labour come through on the court.
While they have performed well against a few of the teams on the roster, there are some who could be contenders against the local boys.
“I think Vic High and Port Alberni would be the two contenders,” Wilson said. “Edward Milne is not bad. I haven’t seen Nanaimo Christian or Duncan Christian yet. We play Duncan Christian first. They’ve got a fairly big team, that we do know, but I haven’t seen them so it’s difficult to say.”
With players like Schure, the team’s top scorer, Lavallee, a strong defenceman who pushes the team, and centre Reuben Wright, who played for the provincial team in previous years, Wilson and Mason are expecting a good weekend.
The GISS team is playing their first game on Friday at 11 a.m. Other games will be determined based on the outcome of the first.