New year brings success to GFSS grade 8 boys hoop team

The Grand Forks Secondary grade 8 boys basketball team is having a strong year.

What a difference a new year can make. After the Grand Forks Secondary School Grade 8 boys basketball team suffered a one-point defeat, 29-28 against Stanley Humphries (Castlegar) in their season opener on Dec. 11, head coach Sean O’Brien made sure his group of athletes knew to expect different in 2014. “We played such a terrific game it was important the boys knew a scoreboard will not always dictate success,” he said. “Being a very competitive person by nature, I could tell that the boys felt like they let me down, while nothing could have been further from the truth.” It was back to the drawing board and back to three intense practices a week, bringing home the importance of fundamentals, seeing the floor and not playing with their heads down—and most importantly playing unselfish, team-orientated basketball. Whatever has been discussed and practiced since that one-point loss must have hit home.  “We were discussing winning and losing after our first game, and I explained how it is we are going to view our success,” O’Brien said. “You have to keep in mind, this is the very first dose of high school competitive sports for these kids, so expectations and understanding are at a different stage in every single boy.“So what it is I have told them is seek to be better than the day before after every practice, every game, and we won’t lose again this year.” These words seem to have struck a chord with the team. On Tuesday, GFSS walked into Castlegar’s gym and walked out with a resounding 40-18 victory. Twelve boys from the 17-man roster that O’Brien keeps travelled for the game, and the tighter bench allowed for more even minutes, and a better basketball product. The standouts included Sam Foy who controlled the tempo of the game from the point guard position, Liam McKinley who was an offensive juggernaut and Noor Sibat, the team’s starting centre who knocked down two three-pointers, giving him three in total on the season. “Last week’s experience, where Noor, Liam and Sam travelled with the junior boys, has really made a difference. It’s given them some more minutes, exposed them to bigger/faster competition, and now I am reaping the rewards,” said O’Brien. “My passion to coach has been rewarded with an incredible group of passionate and talented young men. I truly couldn’t be happier.” The goals for the remainder of the season are simple, said O’Brien.“We aren’t losing again this year, so it’s to win the West Kootenay,” he said. It’s obvious that the new year has made a difference, much larger then one point, O’Brien concluded.The Grade 8’s play their next home game on Wednesday, Feb. 12 against Midway.

Grand Forks Gazette

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