The high school basketball season has started for teams at Elphinstone and Chatelech Secondary schools.
The Elphi senior boys already have two North Shore games under their belt along with a pair of tournaments as the team played eight games in eight days.
The Cougars started with a 54-52 home exhibition loss to West Vancouver on Nov. 29.
Head coach Mike Sopow said it was a real back-and-forth game and a good start to the season despite the loss.
“It was a good character game for the guys. We looked a bit tentative playing in front of the home crowd, but overall, I was happy with the effort,” he said.
On the Nov. 30 to Dec. 1 weekend, Elphi was at the Princess Margaret tournament where they posted a thrilling overtime win in their first game against Clarence Fulton from Vernon.
In the semifinal, Elphi lost by 15 to Kelowna Christian, ranked as one of the top teams in the province. The Cougars then dropped a tough overtime loss to the hosts from Princess Margaret in their final game.
On Tuesday, Dec. 4, Elphi played their first North Shore regular season game, hosting Chatelech and coming away with a 61-38 win.
The Cougars then hit the road on Dec. 5 for Vancouver and the Telus Basketball Classic where they dropped their first game to St. Georges 85-45.
Elphi wrapped up the Telus tourney with a 91-80 loss to Charles Tupper on Dec. 6.
“Our goal this year is to get out of the North Shore and get to the provincials, if only for the experience factor,” said Sopow. “For us, I think St. Thomas Aquinas and Windsor will be our main competition and we play them both after Christmas. We really front-loaded the schedule this year to humble the guys a bit. They are all coming off very successful junior careers, but senior ball is a different beast. They have to experience some losses, experience how hard you have to work to be successful at this level and see what they have to do to get to our end goal.”
In other action, Chat is 0-2 in league play after opening the season with a 69-34 loss to Windsor.
In senior girls, Elphi is 1-1 following a 48-35 loss to Mulgrave and a 63-29 home win over Rockridge. Chat is 0-2 after a 60-39 loss to Sutherland and a 71-21 loss to Windsor.
In bantam boys, the Cougars are 2-0 after a 29-22 win over STA and a 41-22 home win over Handsworth. The Elphi junior boys are 0-1 after a 55-15 loss to West Vancouver, while the Chat junior girls are 1-0 after a 26-17 win over West Vancouver.