The Elphinstone senior boys went into the Christmas break with a glass half full half empty kind of feeling.
Although they are 11-5 overall in exhibition and tournament play, the team is still not firing on all cylinders, a fact head coach Mike Sopow said has to change when the Cougars open regular season play Jan. 7 against St. Thomas Aquinas.
Elphi played their last home game of 2013 on Dec. 17, putting in a lacklustre 74-57 loss to Carson Graham.
The Cougars came out flat in the first quarter, trailing 17-4 at one point before they got back in the game, but still trailing 33-26 at halftime.
Elphi had a horrible third quarter, trailing 54-38 after three, but thanks to some tough defence and a series of three-pointers from TJ Turenne, had the game within striking distance at 69-49 with five minutes to go. But Carson Graham tightened up its defence, hit a couple of threes themselves and pulled away in the final minutes.
"The whole game was lousy," said Sopow. "We played well at the tournament at GW Graham. The Grade 11s stepped up, but in this game here we didn't get the same output from those guys and we never played a team game. Carson got a lot of points down in the paint and we never played any team defence and it just killed us."
TJ scored 37, while Austen Perry had eight and Axel Loitz had seven.
Elphi went to the WJ Mouat tournament Dec. 19 to 21, where they went 2-1.
The Cougars dropped their first game 70-53 to North Surrey, beat Nechako Valley 56-49 in game two and finished with a 68-65 win over Wellington.
"Wellington is ranked as honourable mention in AAA and they were up on us for most of the game, but in the final minutes we stepped up our intensity and they just couldn't keep up," said Sopow. "We had more balanced scoring in this game as well, which really helped. Guys like Nolan Lewarne and Axel Loitz are good shooters who need to look for their shots a little more, and in this game they did that for us. Joel Dykstra knocked down a couple of key free throws for us."
Nate Haglund was named to the tournament all-star team.
Pender Harbour finished their first half with a 63-46 win over Chatelech on Dec. 18.
Top scorers for Pender were Dani Pazur with 19, Nadine Jay-Reid with 14 and Autumn La France and Jade Storoschuk with 10 a piece.
Top scorers for Chatelech were Eugenie Jacobson with 12, Grace Stanhope with 10 and Morgan Downie with eight.
In regular season play, Chatelech lost 61-40 to Sutherland on Dec. 12 and 60-28 to Carson Graham on Dec. 16.
Chatelech is next in action against Elphinstone in Gibsons on Jan. 8.
Elphi slipped to 1-3 in regular season play following a 62-36 loss to Mulgrave on Dec. 11 and a 47-40 loss to Rockridge on Dec. 17.
The Cougars picked up two straight wins before the break as they beat Argyle 28-22 on Dec. 11 and West Vancouver 28-20 on Dec. 16.
Chatelech is playing an exhibition schedule this season only.
They split two recent games, beating Pemberton 48-28 on Dec. 4 and losing 36-29 to Rockridge on Dec. 13.
The Cougars moved to 3-1 in league play and 5-2 overall after picking up two wins in three games.
Elphi beat Collingwood 53-38 on Dec. 18, beat Don Ross 44-41 on Dec. 19 and lost 56-37 to West Vancouver Dec. 16.
Elphi moved to 2-2 in league play with a pair of wins, beating Carson Graham 49-42 on Dec. 17 and Rockridge 52-32 on Dec. 19.
The Cougars host Windsor on Jan. 8 at 3 p.m.
Chatelech is 3-4 in exhibition in league play after a 45-41 win over Pemberton, a 48-28 win over Mulgrave on Dec. 18 and a 53-18 win over Powell River on Dec. 19.
Chatelech is playing host to a winter break camp for boys this Saturday, Jan. 4 at the school gym.
Grade 7 to 8 goes from 9 to 11 a.m. followed by Grade 9 to 12 from noon to 4:30 p.m.
Cost is $15 per player for the Grade 7 to 8 camp and $30 per player for the Grade 9 to 12 camp.
Participants are asked to bring court shoes, which offer adequate support for the rigours of basketball, comfortable P.E. related clothing (shorts, T-shirt, sweat pants), a water bottle and additional drinks and healthy snacks.
Former Elphi player and current Douglas College Royals point guard Andrew Baron, former Elphi player Brian Jones and former Elphi player Tim Scarr will coach the camp.
To register, contact Brian Scarr at 604-989-3834 (cell), 604-886-7638 (home), or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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