The Salmon Arm Golds senior basketball team did not have much time to rest over the Christmas holidays as they travelled to Port Moody during the break.
Josh Kujat scored a team-high 23 points, and had three steals, in the Golds tournament opener against North Surrey.
The Golds fell to the Spartans 77-62.
“North Surrey is a good, big team that shot the lights out. As a team, we shot poorly,” said Golds head coach Rhys Waters.
Dawson Mayes added 15 points and Dillan Olson scored 14.
As a team, the Golds shot 39 per cent from the field and 40 per cent from the free throw line.
Waters was quick to point out that his team’s goal is to shoot at least 70 per cent from the line.
Waters stressed the importance of consistent shooting.
“We didn’t put ourselves in the best position to walk away with a win. We got outshot this game, plain and simple,” said Waters.
The Golds bounced back in the second game of the tournament, defeating Westview from Maple Ridge, 81-55.
Salmon Arm showed off their depth with Olson scoring 16 points, Norman Ambauen earning 15 points and 15 rebounds and Aaron Hicks netting 14 points.
Waters was pleased with the win and noted it was a game they should have won and did.
In the third game of the tournament, SAS faced Richmond, a historically strong team. The Golds rose to the occasion and defeated the Colts 88-67.
Josh Kujat scored a team-high 13 points and defensively had six rebounds and eight assists.
Waters had many reasons to praise the play of Ambauen who had 11 points, five rebounds and two blocks.
“Norman Ambauen is an important part of our team, defensively first but also offensively, and he had a big weekend for us,” said Waters.
Olson finished the game with nine points and 11 rebounds.
Overall the Golds finished fourth in the tournament.
“We would have liked higher, who wouldn’t, but anytime you can go to the Lower Mainland and compete, and especially beat strong programs like Richmond you have to be happy.”
Waters also applauded the depth of his squad. Every player on the team saw court time and scored in the tournament.
“Not many senior teams can say that in a competitive tournament, and that speaks highly of our depth down the bench,” Waters pointed out.
In all competitive games this season the Golds are one game over .500, with a 7-6 record.
“We are competitive, but need to take that next step. Our New Year’s resolution needs to be two things: consistent scoring, and getting better in the paint, especially rebounding.”