Sooke Basketball Club played a series of exhibition games against a team from Denmark last month at EMCS. (Bruce Hogarth/Sooke News Mirror)

Sooke community basketball program has stellar spring season

Club played exhibition, league and tournaments this year

There wasn’t any championship parades through town, but don’t for a minute get the idea that it wasn’t a successful spring season for the Sooke Basketball Club.

The most triumphant is a group of eight to 10-year-old kids playing in an under-11 league at Edward Milne community school.

More than 40 children took to the court in the eight-week league.

“The response was phenomenal,” said Trevor Bligh, head coach of the Sooke Basketball Club. “Kids are already asking to sign up for next year.”

Bligh said he likely turned away 30 kids who wanted to play this season, and next year will expand the league to 80 players and eight teams.

The under-17 team also had a successful season going 6-2 in exhibition play.

The squad beat an international team from Denmark twice, beat up on Nanaimo two times and saw victories against Courtenay and Victoria’s Fernwood.

Losses were posted against the North Island Raiders and West Shore.

“It was a pretty successful spring season for the guys,” Bligh said. “We’re definitely playing some much better ball.”

The entire U-17 team will be back this fall to play for the EMCS Wolverines senior’ boys basketball team.

“They had a desire to get better every day, and as their coach, it’s been so much fun to have a team that has that type of desire,” Bligh said.

The under-15 squad played at the annual UVic Vikes club tournament, posting a 1-3 record against some of the best rep squads in the province.

Malkai Hills, 11, was a member of the team. Hill’s is a Grade 5 student playing against boys in Grade 10.

“He held his own against those bigger and older players,” Bligh said.

“It’s been a good spring season.”

SIDELINES … Sooke Basketball Club head coach Trevor Bligh is feeding off the NBA’s Toronto Raptors recent success, pointing out it bodes well for basketball in Sooke and across Canada, but there’s a side of it where he feels slightly uncomfortable. “It’s almost weird when people in the west are cheering for a Toronto team, you feel kind of creepy.” … For the first time ever, the Sooke Basketball Club had two sponsors: LTS Millwork and Keith’s Mini Excavating. “The support was very much appreciated,” Bligh said.

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