Rattlers gearing up for Valley playdowns
OSS senior boys basketball team finishes fourth at Kelowna tournament this past weekend
It may have only been a weekend tournament, with games not crucial to the standings, but it was a chance to grow for the Osoyoos Secondary School Rattlers senior boys basketball team.
It also served as an opportunity to prepare themselves for playoffs.
The Rattlers were in Kelowna this past weekend to compete in a tournament hosted by Kelowna Christian School.
For Casey Brouwer, it was a bit of a homecoming as the tourney was played at the school the Rattlers head coach graduated from in 1996.
“It was great to be back in my old school and to be playing against my old team,” said Brouwer. “KCS is known for having a provincial-ranked team and over the past three years we have had some good games against them. But have never been able to beat them. Heading into this weekend tournament, I only had six of my 10 players and we knew we were up for a fight and struggle.”
The first game was against KCS and the home crowd packed into the gym and were ready for a great game.
The Rattlers came out strong and at the end of the first quarter found themselves down by five points. However, a strong second quarter had OSS up 31-30 at the half.
The game went back and forth through the entire second half and neither team enjoyed more than a four-point lead.
Heading into the fourth quarter, KCS held a slim two-point margin.
A crucial call gave OSS the tying points with just 30 seconds remaining in regulation time.
Benson Cheng then made an amazing steal and passed the ball to Aman Rai who drove in for the layup, giving the Rattlers a two-point lead with eight seconds left in the game.
With no timeouts left, KCS threw in the ball, only to have Rai steal it and hold it for the 57-55 Osoyoos win.
“Our six players fought hard and played some of their best basketball all season against the Kelowna Christian school team of 14 players. According to my old coach and teacher from KCS, there was some impressive coaching going on by the Osoyoos team,” offered Brouwer, somewhat tongue-in-cheek. “In biblical terms we were David and they were the giant Goliath.”
The next two games did not go as well for OSS as they lost to Heritage Christian and Keremeos, relegating the Rattlers to a fourth overall finish.
“Despite being short on players the guys played with heart and hustle,” summarized Brouwer, whose team is now preparing for Valley’s. “We finished first in our district and we are looking good as we head to playoffs. Provincials is one step away now. Our last visit to provincials was back in 2008. We are hoping to change that this year.”
The Single A Valley championships are set for Feb. 26-28 in Vernon. The top teams there will advance to provincials.
Special to the Times