The Smithers Secondary School Gryphons senior boys basketball team defied the odds last Monday, starting out the new year with a win over the previously undefeated Caledonia Kermodes senior boys from Terrace.
“It was definitely a vast improvement,” said Coach Chris Van der Mark.
Caledonia’s AAA team is one division higher than Smithers’ AA team, so winning the game over possibly the best team in the Northwest was a huge boost to the boys’ confidence, especially considering the comeback that won the game.
At the end of the third quarter, the Gryphons were trailing by nine points, but managed to push hard enough in the final quarter to catch up then overtake the Kermodes, winning the game with a close final score of 55-51.
“Cal’s starting lineup is very good. They had a bit of an off day, and our boys worked incredibly hard,” said Van der Mark.
Nathan Murray led the Gryphons with 18 points, followed by Julius de Jong with 11 and Kenny Forbes with nine. Van der Mark also cited Jason Gagnier’s defensive play against Caledonia as a key factor in the win.