Totem 58: Alberni boys primed and ready

The Armada senior boys basketball team has a scorer, a scrapper and an unsung hero in their arsenal going into this weekend’s Totem tourney.

Armada senior boys forward Josh Kurucz

The Alberni District Secondary School Armada senior boys basketball team has a scorer, a scrapper and an unsung hero in their arsenal as they head into this weekend’s Totem 58 Basketball Tournament.

The six teams vying for the boys title are: ADSS, Woodlands, Stelly’s, Reynolds, Highland and Kwalikum.

The Armada boys’ first game is against Nanaimo’s Woodlands Secondary on Friday at 11 a.m. The clash promises to be a good one, Armada head coach Neelam Parmar said. “We lost 72-71 to them at the Cowichan tournament in December. Our team was flu-ridden then but we’re all healthy now,” Parmar said.

The team plays its second game against Reynolds Secondary, whom it narrowly lost to earlier this season.

The Armada have been rebuilding and are starting to see the fruits of their labour this season.

Forward Josh Kurucz, who has been scoring 26 points per game this season, will be looked to for leadership and points. Connor VanVliet takes charges, goes for loose balls and does the gritty work. And the team’s unsung hero is Luke Bradley, who has averaged 14 points and 12 rebounds per game. “We have a good bench but those are our cornerstones,” Parmar said.

The senior boys are 5-2 this year but the record is deceiving, Parmar said. “We lost three of our games by no more than seven-point margins so we could just as easily be 5-2,” he said. “Those losses were eekers and we hope to get over that hump this weekend.”

The team has been working hard on offensive execution, a key ingredient to winning it all this weekend. “We’re scoring points but we’re also giving up the ball. We need to hold the ball, make better choices and get better shot selection,” Parmar said.

The team to beat at this year’s Totem will be last year’s champion – Stelly’s Secondary, Parmar said.

Ranked No. 9 on the Island, the Stingers pack a one-two punch in forward Parker Phillips and guard David Heywood, who scored 36 and 15 points respectively in a loss to undefeated Claremont in a December game.

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