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First-ever Junior A boys’ team fielded by Sooke high school

Basketball takes a big bounce in Sooke

That’s a long time between dunks and dribbles.

Edward Milne has a junior boys’ basketball team competing on the hardwood for the first time since the school opened in 1947.

‘The team got their first win ever with a 50-35 victory over district rival Royal Bay,” said coach Trevor Bligh, in his 29th year of working with teams at the school.

“The desire to learn and get better has been a key,” Bligh noted regarding the team’s 4-2 record so far.

The Wolverines added to their success with a win over John Barsby Secondary School from the Nanaimo team in the first game of the Ladysmith Junior Boys Tournament. A 66-34 win Dec. 16 over Kwalikum Secondary School from Qualicum Beach put the Wolverines into the tournament final.

The team ran out of steam against Wellington and lost 49-32 in the final.

“It would have been a closer game if we had a full roster, but we could only put five players with no subs on the floor because of injuries. I’m super proud of our team’s effort,” Bligh said.

Bligh said having two former EMCS players doing much of the coaching has made a significant difference.

“Brady Greenwood and Lucas Blatchford have been an unbelievable help,” he said. “Both are ex-collegiate players. Brady has a very strong basketball mind. He played with a couple of college programs and brings a wealth of experience and innovative ideas. Lucas was an exceptional player and is eager to share his expertise with the boys.”

Bligh is also pleased with the potential of the senior boys’ team, which has a record of 3-3.

“We have a good chance to win the city championship at the triple-A level this year,” Bligh said. “The city playoffs start the last week of February, and the team is improving weekly. We had to take our lumps last year to be where we are today.”

Two seniors lead the team, guard Kieran Demelo and 6-foot-6 forward Jesse Sactacionne. The two players and Grade 11 guard Adam Stawiki made significant contributions to the team this year.

Bligh said the school also has a junior girls’ team competing for the first time in a while.

“The basketball culture at EMCS has been revived.”

Bligh said a large donation from the Marsden Group, a Sooke construction company, enabled the school to operate three teams this year.

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About the Author: Rick Stiebel

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