The Alberni District Secondary School senior boys’ basketball team will face the No. 1 team on Northern Vancouver Island Saturday morning on the consolation side of the North Island AAA championships.
The ADSS Armada will play Mark Isfeld at 9:30 a.m. Saturday (Feb. 17) in their home gymnasium after losing to Wellington Wildcats 65–42 Thursday in their first game of the North Islands. Carihi High from Campbell River upset the Isfeld Ice 66–42 to send Isfeld to the consolation side of the tournament draw.
The Armada went into their game against Wellington with a straightforward plan, coach Craig Brooks said.
“Most of Wellington’s offence runs through two players so we looked to shut down one of them, No. 9. We did a really good job of that in the first quarter—I think we held them down to no points on that,” he said.
“We were down by two at the end of the first quarter. Four minutes into the second quarter, a couple of calls go against us, and two of my senior players I’ve got to sit because of foul trouble. I’m sure it turned the tide a little bit.”
Wellington, the No. 3 seed from the North Island, played persistently, Brooks said, and it was effective against the Armada.
“We had a five-minute meltdown (in the second quarter) where…the ball wasn’t falling for us. It created a bit of a gap. We were down 15 or 16 at the half.”
It proved to be too big a gap to overcome, he said. “We made a few adjustments. It was too big a gap to move on from, so we moved on to putting our bench on (the court) and letting them play. It created some excitement.”
Brooks said the team has been working hard all year, and everyone expected a better result. “Our game plan was if we could hold them to roughly under 50 points, which we were on track for…we knew it would be the kind of game we like to play. As soon as they get running it’s not quite our style. We like to grind it out.
“It’s a tough road. The upside is if we can win that game then we will make it to Islands,” he added.
The top four teams go to the Island championships Feb. 22–24 at Carihi High in Campbell River.
“We try and finish each day 1–0 and if it doesn’t work out we move onto whatever’s next. The mental toughness is taking some time to develop and these guys have it. They fight for each other, which is something you want to see. They never give up.”
With their win over Isfeld, the Carihi High Tyees earned a berth in to the final game against G.P. Vanier of Courtenay. The championship game is slated for 7:30 p.m. at the ADSS gymnasium. Admission is free and the public is welcome to come and watch.
Access to the gym is on the south side of ADSS, from the parking lot by Echo Fieldhouse.