On Friday, February 24, and Saturday, February 25, the JV boys basketball team played in the Rural Rumble in Winkler. The plan going into the tournament was to see how we compare to ‘AAAA’ teams being the only ‘A’ team in the tournament, to play some competition before our Zone game, and to have a lot of fun.

Our first game was against ‘AAAA’ Vincent Massey (Brandon). We were expecting these guys to be the best team in the tournament. Starting off the game, we were up to a quick 7-0 start and Vincent Massey were shocked. But we didn’t have the energy and legs to hold the lead.

Many of our boys were unable to make this game because of hockey or injury. We only had one sub on the bench. Six hours earlier in the day, many of our boys played heavy starting minutes for our varsity team, against the high intensity Sprague team, in one of the most physical games most of us had ever played in. The Sprague game left many of us tired and physically beat up.

Going into the fourth quarter it was a two point game, but being totally exhausted, having a key player Noah in foul trouble, Michael fouling out, and Vincent Massey hitting down multiple threes, we eventually lost this game 53-45.

On Saturday, we had to turn our attention to winning the consolation side. In the morning we played the ‘AAA’ Stonewall Rams. Adam and Aidan H. drove in early that morning to join us which added much needed legs and we felt like we could run up the score. With Noah getting to the rack, Graham knocking down threes, and Adam’s 11 steals, we won the game 68-28.

Immediately after our game was the skills competition. First activity was the 3 pt competition. We had Graham, Adam and Noah shooting and our four other players rebounding. Four balls were in play and shooters could shoot from anywhere behind the 3 pt line. There was one minute to score as many 3's as possible. The top two teams would play in a winner take all final. In our first round we knocked down 15 threes which took us to the finals. The finals were lost by only one three point shot.

Second activity was the fast break relay. We had Graham, Atticus, Adam and Aidan compete. This was a timed event where a player needed to score full court layups at both ends of the court before passing to the next teammate in line. The dribbler must weave through three cones at half court as well as score the layup before repeating the same procedure on the opposite side of the court. Fastest two teams would play in a winner take all final. We had a good first round which once again got us in the finals. But once again, we came up just short of winning.

The final activity was the shooting stars competition. We had Graham Atticus and Hartley compete with everyone else rebounding This was a timed event. There were four shots. 8ft bank shot from the right, which we had Hartley do, a free throw which Graham did, a 3pt shot that Atti did, and a shot from near half court where all three would try to make. Each shot had to be made before the next player began shooting. Time is stopped when the team makes a near half court shot. To see what it would somewhat look like, check out http://www.nba.com/video/channels/allstar/2015/02/14/20150214-shooting-stars-team-bosh-1.nba/ .

In the first round, Hartley and Graham hit their shots in their first attempts and Atti made his three in three attempts. Although it took us a little more time to hit the half court shot, Graham was able to make it, and our time was quick enough to once again send us to the finals. After losing in the finals already twice, we really wanted/needed to win one. Hartley took two tries to make his shot, Graham knocked down his free throw on his first attempt and took Atti three attempts to hit a three. We were neck and neck with the other team in the finals GVC. The whole event came to who can hit that half court shot first. It’s a good thing we are always practicing half court shots back at home because, with ice in his veins, Hartley hit it down, which gave us the win. We got real hyped, jumping all over each other. Chants of “Single A” from Noah and a “Finally! Third time's the charm!” from Coach Berry.

We had one last game against ‘AAAA’ Northlands Parkway Nighthawks. This game was to see who would win consolation. We were all exhausted. This was our 8th game over 5 days, but we still won 64-35. Adam finished the game with a double double with 10 assists and 11 steals, Graham knocked down 3 threes, and Noah had cleaned up with 6 points from the foul line.

Looking back at the tournament, we don’t like to make excuses but, we feel like if we didn’t play in Sprague right before, and if we had everyone show up to the tournament, we could've won the whole thing. We believe that we were the best and most skilled team there. We’re really excited for provincials and we believe we can bring home a provincial banner back to Pinawa.

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