Two Sooke sports teams have qualified for Island championships in two separate sports.
The EMCS Wolverines return to the Islands in high school senior boys basketball for the first time in six years after the Division 3A club placed fourth in the South Island playoffs, while minor hockey’s Bantam Thunderbirds will play Tri-Port Eagles in the final after routing Oceanside Generals 6-2 on Saturday in Sooke.
The Wolverines finished off a gruelling South Island playoff run, playing four games in five nights.
The Wolverine beat Reynolds 61-60 in the opening game of the playoffs, before falling to St. Michael’s 58-42. The local squad qualified for the Island finals with a convincing 71-60 victory over Vic High, but ran out of the gas in the final game of the week-long tournament with a 66-43 loss to Reynolds.
EMCS is the fourth seeded team from the South Island and will play the North’s No. 1-ranked John Barsby secondary at 6 p.m. Thursday in Ladysmith in the opening round of the Islands. The top four teams from the eight-team tournament qualify for the B.C. championships in March.
“We are not expected to go the provincials, but we were not expected to be in the Island finals, either,” said Trevor Bligh. “I can’t say we won’t make the provincials.”
Meanwhile, the Sooke Thunderbirds continued their winning ways by beating Parksville’s Oceanside Generals in the Bantam Tier 3 semifinal.
The Thunderbirds topped the regular season standings with a 11-1 record, and beat Kerry Park, Victoria, and Peninsula in round-robin play.
On Saturday, Cole Friesen scored five goals and Grady Sluggett contributed with one over Oceanside.
The Bantam Island playoff begins this weekend.