The No. 5-ranked senior boys Charles Hays Rainmakers didn’t have sore bus legs last Monday, playing three away games in one day.
But they might have had ferry fins.
Stepping off the boat to prepare for two games against Skidegate and one against Masset, all within six hours, the crew won their first game against the Skidegate Saints 54-52.
“It was a really low-scoring, defensive kind of game,” said head coach Mel Bishop.
The narrow victory featured good games for Jakob Henry, who notched 13 points, Rosendo Masocol, who had 10, and Justin McChesney, who sank eight.
All the while, the ‘Makers had to be on their guard for Jesse Barnes, the Saints’ star player, who has also made the provincial squad.
“We didn’t do a bad job with him,” said Bishop.
“We held him to about 25 [points] that first game which is quite good because he had a lot of looks … they push the ball hard. We kind of focused on him a little bit and our rotations are kind of geared to a lot of weak-side help to try to plug up the middle, so a lot of it was geared to stop him.”
In their next game, the Rainmakers defeated Masset – a rematch of a game played two weeks ago during a Prince Rupert play day and the George M Dawson Secondary kids accompanied the ‘Makers on the ferry that Sunday night prior to the game in heading home.
Nick Campbell and Mitchell Nelson starred for the team against the Cal Westbrook-led Thunder, garnering 14 and 12 points respectively.
But it was their third game where Charles Hays ran into some trouble as they fell 74-50 to the Saints in their 9 p.m. game.
“[Barnes] distributed the ball a lot in that game, and we held him to 20,” said Bishop.
“He’s a very good player. He’s probably the best athlete I’ve seen here in 36 years … he’s very athletic, six-foot-seven, and he’s got a lot of potential.”
The Rainmakers are hoping their recent string of injury problems will be over come playoff time. A group of players are hurting, including a recovering Cole Marogna from an ankle sprain, Kyler Reece with the same ailment and McChesney, who is playing limited minutes these days and not practicing due to taking physio for a lower-body ailment.
The senior girls team travels to Bulkley-Valley Christian School this weekend and the junior girls take on the competition at Smithers Secondary.
The senior boys continue their play at Caledonia this weekend, heeading into the final few weeks before zones. They’ll host Nechako Valley prior to the playoffs as well.