Ladysmith Secondary’s Grade 8 Boys basketball team faced some stiff mainland competition over the weekend at the provincial championships but still walked away with their heads held high.
The 49ers were dominant against island teams in the local school district, remaining undefeated going into the tournament in Pitt Meadows.
At the Grade 8 provincials, the team was in tough against teams from Vancouver that played a zone defence not used in SD68 because of an agreement among the local athletic directors.
“They faced pressure over there that we just didn’t see in Nanaimo,” said coach Kalvin Beuerlein.
“We were trying to draw up on a whiteboard what would really take weeks of practice for them to learn.”
Still, Ladysmith won its third game against the host school 49-37 and Eric Gueldenstern was awarded the player of the game.
The 49ers finished with a 1-3 record and improved on the tournament ranking finishing 14th.
In the final game the boys were up at half-time before Queen Elizabeth switched to playing zone.
“We competed with anybody we played with when it was man-to-man,” Beuerlein said.
Making it provincials provided the team with a “fantastic” experience as they age up to form the Junior Boys squad next fall.
“They got to see how skilled the best teams are and how hard they play,” he said. “Our season is still successful and the guys did very, very well.”