Bombers open against top-ranked Southridge at Triple-A Boys Basketball Championships
It’s never easy playing high school basketball in the Kootenays.
Tons of travel due to weak competition inside the zone makes it tough for program to succeed.
And when it comes to playing at the provincials, it gets even tougher.
The L.V. Rogers Bombers take the place of David against Goliath as the Kootenay reps meet top ranked Southridge of Surrey on opening day of the BC High School AAA Boy’s Basketball Championships Wednesday the Langley Events Centre.
“Most team’s schedules wrap up at the end of the season where they have to compete just to get a shot at making the provincials. . .. We are fortunate enough that we essentially have a bye to provincials because we have been so beat up in the past 2-3 weeks that if we had to play anyone it would have been tough to field a healthy squad,” said Bomber coach Jeremy Phelan, a two-time provincial champion during his high school career at Trafalgar and LVR.
“But coming into this week we seem to have kicked the sick bug and our key guys with injuries have had some down time to recover from a grueling travel schedule which saw us travel to the Okanagan or Lower Mainland on six separate occasions.”
Phelan said Southridge returns three starters from last year. One of the returnees is versatile 6’8” center in Hunter Hughes.
“We have been preparing to stop him,” Phelan explained.
“However, this Storm team isn’t shy at shooting from the outside so it will be a challenge to defend inside and out.”
The Bombers have some experience of their on the roster.
Grade 12 seniors Josh Matosevic, Robby Dixon and Jake Anderson are all making their third straight trip to the provincial tournament.
Matosevic’s 21 provincial point average and 12 rebounds will be counted on to lead the Bomber attack.
Dixon will do his damage leading the Bomber arsenal from the point guard position while Anderson, who is battling the flu, averages 12 points a game.
Also counted on for points and defence is Grade 11 Vinnie Watson, also making his third trip to the tournament.
“We aren’t deep with only nine players on our roster including two Grade 10’s — Brock and Dyllan Dixon — so our success depends on our ability to stay healthy,” Phelan said.
“Seven of our 14 losses came during injuries to our two best players —Josh Matosevic and Rob Dixon — where we lost often narrowly by less than 10 pts.”
The game tips off at 1:45 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.
Win, and the Bomber move along the championship trail to play at 3:30 p.m. Thursday.
A loss drops LVR into the consolation side of the 16-team tournament against the loser of Mark Isfeld of Courtenayand Duchess Park of Prince George.