LSS Grade 8 girls and junior boys win first games of season

Ladysmith Secondary School's basketball teams were back in action last week, paving the way for a number of firsts.

Ladysmith Secondary School 49er Carl Lofstrom looks for an in against Winston Gardener of NDSS. The Grade 8 boys played their first game of the season at home on Jan. 9

High school basketball was back in session at Ladysmith Secondary School (LSS) last week, paving the way for a number of firsts.

The Grade 8 girls played visiting Qualicum Beach Middle School Wednesday afternoon, earning themselves their first win of the season.

The girls pulled ahead early, gaining a 10-point advantage by halftime before stampeding their way to a final score of 56–26.

“For whatever reason, the girls are now clicking and getting things going,” said coach Mike Doyle, adding that the girls have put in a lot of practice time since their first game last month.

As the Grade 8 girls coasted to victory on one side of LSS’s divided gymnasium, fate had other things in store for the Grade 8 boys as they faced off against visiting NDSS.

Both of the Grade 8 boys’ December games were cancelled, meaning Wednesday’s showdown marked their first game of the season.

They trailed NDSS from the start, limiting their competition’s lead to seven points at the half and capping off the game with a 30-22 loss.

Stand-in coach Tony Baker said the team played really hard, adding that with a little more practice they’ll hit their shots more consistently.

“What’s tough is that we have 13 guys,” Baker said, “and we try to play everybody. Sometimes the lines don’t match up, and we wind up playing small guys against their big guys. But they seem to have fun.”

The junior boys 49ers played Woodlands Wednesday night in Nanaimo. The juniors rallied to a 20–15 lead at halftime before pushing through for a 38–29 finish to earn themselves their first win of the season.

Nick Hayton led the way with 20 points, receiving assistance from teammate Robbie Matson who scored an additional 12 points.

Junior boys’ coach Ben Chadwick said his team “really stepped up the defensive intensity in this game, and that helped us get some easy baskets on the other end. They’re definitely improving every day.”

Last Tuesday’s scheduled games for both the senior girls and senior boys teams were cancelled due to heavy snowfall and slippery roads.

This week, the Grade 8 girls were the only team lucky enough to score a home game. They face off against Cedar at LSS Wednesday, Jan. 16.

The Grade 8 boys have a bye this week, with LSS’s remaining teams hitting the road for away games. The junior boys travelled to John Barsby Monday night, and the senior girls play Wellington Tuesday, Jan. 15, while the senior boys visit Nanaimo to square off against NDSS.