The Ladysmith 49’ers senior boys AA basketball team have their eyes set on the Island playoffs.
To get there, the team needs to keep up its momentum and make full use of its 10-man roster, says coach Randy Steel.
“The players have been pretty competitive because the league is quite strong,” he said. “The teams around us are good competition.”
The 49’ers are an even mix of experienced Grade 12 players and Grade 11 rookies and one Grade 10 player who was called in to help out, Steel said.
“It’s a good group,” he said.
Team guard Ronal Finnegan, Grade 12, has helped lead the team throughout the season and is one of their top scorers.
“He’s been very solid, and he’s a very experienced player,” Steel said.
Deavon Geary, Grade 12, has also proven himself as a good shooter, as has Tyson Strandt
“He works very hard.”
Rookie Tanner Gresmak has been turning heads, coming out as one of the team’s top point-scorers, along with Finnegan.
The 49’ers will continue to work on defensive play and playing as a unit as the end of the season nears.
“It’s not an individual sport. There are individual skills, but you’re still working within a team concept,” Steel said. “The wins and losses are not that important as long as you’re trying to improve.”
Sitting near second place in their division with eight wins and seven losses, Steel said the team should make the North Island playoffs, where they will have to work hard to make it to the Islands. Last year, the 49’ers were one game away from making the provincial playoffs.
During a Superball tournament at Wellington Secondary, the 49’ers faced three teams over a two-day period Jan. 6-7. In their first game against Wellington, the 49’ers lost 70-54. They played a close game against Timberline, losing 60-54. However, an overtime win came against Cedar the following morning.
“We really dominated,” Steel said.
The Ladysmith senior boys will be in Esquimalt Jan. 13 and 14 for exhibition games and will play John Barsby Jan. 17. Their last game of the regular season will be at home at Ladysmith Secondary School against Wellington on Jan. 31.