The Smithers Secondary junior boys’ basketball team finished fourth in a tournament at home over the weekend.
Despite losing back-to-back games on Saturday, the team is showing promise, having only had two practices together since the season started.
The Gryphons started the tournament strong with a come-from-behind win against Centennial Christian School on Friday night.
In the first half, the team had trouble finding the hoop and heading into halftime, the visiting team had a 16-point lead.
“By halftime, we were down 32-16,” said co-coach Kalum Wittke.
“In the third and fourth quarter, we came out and had awesome defence and came out with a win and really shut them down.”
The Gryphons managed to scrape by Centennial winning 46-42.
“We were just super stoked to come out with a win, which at halftime, we weren’t expecting to,” said Wittke.
Heading into Saturday’s games, the team struggled to keep the momentum going playing against Charles Hayes Secondary’s Rainmakers.
“We started off the Prince Rupert game pretty good, but we just started to fade away,” said Wittke.
And the scoreboard reflected it.
In the third, the Gryphons were down by 25 points.
There were a handful of turnovers and an even bigger amount of players being called for travelling.
But it was the team’s defence that kept them in the game.
“Their defence really stepped up but we still need to work on finishing at the hoop,” he said.
In the final match, the Gryphons took on Port Simpson and dropped that game 58-48 with 21 points coming from Justin Dejong and 22 from Quin Fraser.
“I felt like I really contributed,” said Fraser.
“I was just in the winning spirit, I wanted the win for the team.”
Dejong was also feeling good on the court over the weekend.
“I felt really comfortable on the court, I had some good and bad moments,” he said.
“I played well on defence, I passed the ball well and just got open and that helped us out a lot.”
According to Wittke, they’ve only had two practices because many players were wrapping up the volleyball season.
“For having two practices, they played superbly,” said Wittke, adding they need to practice not travelling with the ball.