GFSS grade 8 boys ready to take on Kootenay’s best at playdowns

Grand Forks Secondary grade 8 boys coach has team prepared to year-end play-offs.

After opening the basketball season with one game in 2013, the GFSS grade 8 boys 2014 schedule has left them both prepared and confident for league finals. “I have to thank Jamie McKaig, our athletic director for doing a terrific job, getting us the right amount of games / competition for us to be at our best this weekend” Coach Sean O’Brien stated at the end of one of their final practices. “We had some great regular season tests, and the confidence I have in my team is only rivaled my players themselves.” The tests being referred to by Coach O’Brien, include a road trip to Rossland on Monday February 17th, and a 2 game tournament in Mt. Sentinel on February 20th. After a hectic drive in winter weather to Rossland, GFSS was challenged by an athletic team who brought a level of intensity on defense not yet seen this year. Going into the 4th quarter, GFSS was down by 11. “We were not playing our best basketball by any means, but luckily I hit the right chord in the huddle. I reminded them about our unbeaten 2014, and what happened next, has to be the greatest moment I have had coaching to date.” Grand Forks matched Rossland’s defensive pressure, while moving the ball unselfishly on offense. With 17 seconds to go, Grand forks retook the lead on an out of bounds play ran to perfection, leaving Rossland with a wild 34-33 comeback victory. Mt. Sentinel provided a different test, with two starters missing, GF played rival Castlegar. Holding a small lead throughout the game, a hard foul in the final minutes shifted momentum, and Castlegar’s escaped with a 3 point win as Noor Sibat’s game tying three missed by the smallest of fractions. “Castlegar is hosting league finals. They have beat us once by 1 and once by 3. We have beat them once by 18. We are on opposite sides of the tournament, and if we meet in the finals, I am sure it will be the most intense game of the year.” All and all, it has been quite the successful year for the grade 8 boys, finishing the regular season with the Kootenay’s best record of 8 wins and 2 losses. No matter what happens in the league finals on February 26th, Coach Sean O’Brien will still be smiling, “This group of young men is about to represent Grand Forks Basketball properly for their next 5 years of high school. I just hope that people start to take notice. “