The Bulkley Valley Christian Schools junior boys’ basketball team came close to winning zones this season, but were cut short in three close games against Terrace Centennial Christian School last week.
The Royals started the best-of-three series on the right foot, with a 48-41 win over Centennial, despite losing Curtis Ripmeester after he sprained his ankle in the first half of the game.
Two players were also sick, but they managed to battle through it for the win.
“We played great” said head coach Tom Stolte. “They played hard even though they were sick, they were very brave and they played really hard. I’m really proud of them, they did a wonderful job and they were all close games.”
After losing Ripmeester, Centennial came back strong in the next two games putting the Royals on defence.
“They were great on defence,” said Stolte. “They stopped some pretty potent scorers from the other team. Centennial is a great team, they’ve got lots of good shooters.”
The next two games were just as close, but Centennial managed to squeak by the wins 49-43 and 60-53 to take home the zone B banner this season.
Point guard Nathan Steenhof combined for 66 points in all three games and was the lead scorer for the Royals.
“We all played well. We just couldn’t get buckets down the stretch,” said Steenhof.
“They came back in almost every game. We beat them in the first game but in the second and third games, we weren’t so lucky.”
“I was able to hit some threes . . . I was able to get to the basket easier and get some high quality shots from under the hoop,” he said.
Zones marks the end of the Royals’ season and both athletes and coaches believed the team played hard.
“I think it went really well. We had a lot of fun, lost to Caledonia by only two points, played Smithers Secondary a couple of times too. We learned a lot and we improved and we got better throughout the whole season,” said Stolte.
“Based on our Grade 8 year, next year should be pretty good,” he said.
The last time the Royals won zones was in the 2009/2010 season.