After a 2021-22 season that was thrown off-kilter by COVID-19, the Alberni District Secondary School’s senior boys basketball team is hoping to be competitive at this year’s Totem tournament.
The team started out strong, with a five-game win streak leading up to the Christmas break. But an extended Christmas break, along with a COVID-19 outbreak, caused the team to miss almost six weeks of practices.
“We were not quite in the same shape as some of the other teams,” explained head coach Craig Brooks.
The senior boys finished 9-8 on the year and were bounced out of the playoffs early. Point guard and team captain Daniel Chin was injured towards the end of the season, which was a major blow for the team.
“Daniel was a major driving force for us,” said Brooks. “He’s a vocal leader.”
Despite missing the last two games of the season, Chin still made the Grade 12 All-Star ‘B’ squad. Brooks said he is still attending practices and cheering the team on, and hopes to be recovered in time for the Totem tournament.
“We’re looking to win,” Chin explained during the ADSS Totem media day back in December 2021. “And if not, we’re just trying to have fun on the court.”
“We want to recreate the Totem feeling for the boys who are never going to get that chance again,” said Brooks. “But we also want to be competitive and show people what the future of this team is going to be.”
The future looks bright for the ADSS senior boys. This year’s team has “a good mix” of Grade 12s and 11s, as well as a few players who are brand new to competitive basketball, said Brooks. Grade 11 athlete Liam St. Onge was the second-highest scorer in the conference this year, averaging around 30 points a game for Alberni.
Grade 10 athlete Ty Cyr was called up from the junior team after a few injuries, and ended up as the team’s second-highest scorer during the playoffs.
“The future looks good,” said Brooks. “We’re hoping we can carry that momentum into the next season as well.”
With the Totem tournament’s restart announced at the end of February, the team has returned to the court to “shake off the rust” and put in a few practices. The senior boys have also been cheering on the ADSS senior girls during their “magical” playoff run this season.
“The comraderie is solid,” said Brooks. “It feels like a family.”
The senior boys are scheduled to open the tournament on Thursday, March 10 at 5:30 p.m. Vaccination passports and masks will be required for all spectators.
“It’s going to feel good to have fans cheering us on again,” said Brooks.