With the possibility of a locked out NBA season, basketball fans can rest assured the boys at EMCS are definitely going to be on the court.
The team was practicing at Journey Middle School on Friday because their home hardwood at the high school was temporarily turned into an election polling station.
“There’s going to be 4,000 people walking around on my floors,” said head coach Trevor Bligh, who lamented the scuffed floors. Nevertheless, his players were working hard in preparation for what Bligh expects to be a stellar year.
“Our target this year is to be top three in our division,” he said. “We have high hopes to make the Island playoffs.”
Last year, the Wolverines finished fifth out of six teams and were knocked out of the south Island regional championships. Traditionally, they have struggled against top seeds Lambrick Park and St. Michael’s and this year will be a tight race between Parkland and Esquimalt for the third spot.
The core group this season is largely the same as last year with five players from Grade 11 and two from Grade 10. They revolve around the three seniors Ryan Albert, Jason Demoe and biathlete Alex Wright who is also the quarterback for EMCS’ football team.
“We have a stronger offence this year,” said Albert, the Wolverine’s point guard. Like the other two seniors, he is in his seventh year playing hoops.
The first home game is an exhibition matchup against Glenlyon Norfolk on Dec. 1 at 7 p.m., said Bligh. He’s coached basketball for 16 years and before that, he was a player for four years.
“It’s my 20 year anniversary,” said a laughing Bligh.
The season lasts into the last weekend of February, and the provincials take place in March.