Coast players TJ Turenne and Nate Haglund both have added to their promising basketball resumes in a big way with a gold medal winning performance at the Western Canada Summer Games in Kamloops.
TJ and Nate, who have starred for the Elphinstone Secondary School Cougars the past two years, helped lead Team B.C. to an undefeated run at the Games, including an impressive 86-44 win over Manitoba Tuesday night in the gold medal game at the Tournament Capital Centre.
The game was never in doubt, nor was the tournament for Team B.C. as they rolled through the competition. B.C. was up 21-10 at the first break and led 43-20 at half time, capitalizing on 12 Manitoba turnovers in the opening two quarters.
“This is my first Games, and I was expecting a battle,” said B.C. head coach Brian Meier from Richmond. “Every team we played gave us a tougher effort than what the score reflected. In the game today, some players had more points than others, but those other guys worked hard to feed them the ball.”
Martin Borajev from Bur-naby, who was named tournament MVP, led B.C. with 26 points, 15 in the first half. Nate had 16 points and 11 rebounds.
B.C. opened play Saturday night, blasting Manitoba 88-34.
“We were excited to get the Games started. The boys had a lot of excitement from the opening ceremonies and really fed off the crowd,” Meier said.
On Sunday, B.C. continued to roll, smoking the Yukon 84-26.
“Our philosophy is team and working hard together,” Meier said. “No one is more important than team. I have told them from day one that if they play to their ability, we will be just fine. If everyone on our squad averages six points a game, that is 72 points — good enough to win.”
B.C. was up 29-8 after the first quarter and led 33-13 at recess.
TJ scored 13 points in the win.
“We have been together for six weeks now. It has been a process. We are limiting our mistakes each time out. There is a possibility that we might be overconfident. All but one of our players have parental support here and they want to make sure that they do well,” added Meier following the win over Yukon.
On Monday, B.C. had probably its best test of the tournament as Saskatchewan battled them in one semifinal, but B.C. was just too tough, winning 96-59. Manitoba beat Alberta 78-59 in the other semifinal.