Basketball fever hit town this past weekend as the 49ers hosted the Dr. Dunk tournament at Ladysmith Secondary School (LSS).
The round-robin event, featuring Grade 8 students, saw two home teams competing — one in the boys’ half of the draw and one in the girls’ half.
Ladysmith’s girls won two out of their three games, defeating Phoenix Middle School from Campbell River and South Wellington Elementary of Nanaimo, losing out only to Dover Bay Secondary also from Nanaimo.
“The girls did well,” said LSS athletics co-ordinator Laura Mazurenko. “They only lost to Dover Bay so it was a very successful tournament.”
The girls’ team is coached by Michael Lidgate and Paul Bouma.
Ladysmith’s boys team didn’t have quite the same luck and lost all three of their games.
Mazurenko said Phoenix turned out to be “the powerhouse” in the boys’ section, with the Campbell River team remaining undefeated throughout.
“That Phoenix team has had the same coach since those boys there were in Grade 5 so they were very well coached,” she explained. “All the teams in the boys’ tournament were highly skilled. But our boys learned a lot and they know what they have to work on.”
The LSS boys’ team is coached by Randy Steel and Kyle MacDonald, and Mazurenko confirmed Steel has been coaching at LSS for “many years and he also coaches the senior boys’ team.”
A notable rotation policy was used by the 49ers’ teams throughout the tournament and Mazurenko says this bodes well for the future in terms of play continuation as well as player development.
“No line played more than the other,” she said. “They always altered so everyone played [the same amount].
“[The goal] was to play as many kids as we can all the time so they don’t dwindle as they get older.”