A roller-coaster high school basketball season marred with injuries and illness continues with a berth in the Island Finals for the EMCS Wolverines boys team this weekend.
The Wolverines completed a strong run at the recent regional qualifying event, defeating Reynolds and Victoria, but losing to St. Michael’s and Reynolds (in a second game).
The tournament wins insured EMCS the fourth and final Island Finals spot in the south. The Wolverines play the North’s No. 1 ranked John Barsby Bulldogs tonight (Feb. 20) in Ladysmith. Game time is 6 p.m.
“We weren’t expected to be here, and we’re going to take advantage of it because these chances don’t come every year,” said Wolverines’ coach Trevor Bligh.
The Wolverines are are returning to the Island Finals for the first time in six years.
“I’ve seen the disappointments in the past,” said Bligh, who’s been connected with the team for more than 20 years.
“The team’s feeling good, like the sky’s the limit.”
Over the past week, the Wolverines have prepared for the Island Finals with three team practices and two open shoot around.
If EMCS can beat John Barsby in the first round, it would likely tip off against Ladysmith in the second round.
“We’re prepared as best we can, but the guys don’t feel any pressure,” Bligh said.
Other teams in the Island Finals include Campbell River’s Carihi, Victoria’s St. Michael’s University, Courtenay’s Mark Isfeld, Reynolds from Saanich, Nanaimo’s John Barsby, Ladysmith and Esquimalt.
The championship game is Saturday (Feb. 22) at 8 p.m. in Ladysmith.