The Belmont junior boys basketball team came up short in their quest for a provincial championship but their coach is convinced they’re headed in the right direction.
The team managed a record of three wins and two losses at the provincial championship tournament, which took place Feb. 27 to March 1 at the Langley Events Centre.
The Bulldogs beat Surrey 77-64, Kelowna 59-53 and Prince George 66-54.
A 58-48 loss to South Kamloops and a 68-42 setback to Abbotsford left Belmont in the middle of the pack in the standings for the 32-team tournament.
Head coach Curt Spaven said he is pleased with the steady progress the team is making. “It was a very successful season considering three years ago the school didn’t have a junior team and two years ago we didn’t win a game all season,” Spaven said. “We held our own against (Surrey’s) Lord Tweedsmuir who finished second in the Fraser Valley, arguably the toughest league in the province. That shows we’re getting closer.”
The team’s core is solid with three players returning next year, Spaven noted. Belmont captured the Lower Island division this year and finished in the top 20 B.C. ranking.
“We hope to maintain a level of competition where we’re a threat to get off the Island every year,” he said.
Lucas Gage, with two nods, and Julius Kennedy were named player of the game in the Bulldogs victories.
Gage, however, insisted the honour go to Isaac Ickovich for one of the games.
“That shows how close the guys are,” Spaven added.
Top-ranked Brentwood College from Vancouver Island won the tournament.