Friday, March 14, 2014

Rainmakers on a Roll!! Charles Hays to play in AAA Basketball Championship Game Saturday

The dance with basketball destiny continues on for the Charles Hays.  As the Rainmakers came out on top in semi-final action on Friday, qualifying for Saturday's Championship Final with a 73 to 65 victory over the Mark Isfeld Ice of Courtenay.

The Rainmakers, continued on with their string of strong starts in Day three of the Provincial tournament,  jumping out to a 13 to 4 lead by the six minute mark of the first quarter. Such was the impact of the Rainmaker attack, that the Mark Isfeld coaching staff had to call an early game time out to quickly regroup.

A coaching decision that paid off for the Ice in the second half of quarter number one. With the Isfeld squad recapturing some of the scoreboard ceded to the Rainmakers in the first five minutes.  With some strong work on the boards in the Rainmaker end of the court, the Ice battled back to secure a one point lead heading into the second quarter.

The second ten minutes played out much like the first quarter, back and forth basketball. A Rainmaker shot finding the range, quickly followed by an answer from the team from Vancouver Island.

The Rainmakers created some space however as they worked the court through the second ten minutes. Leaving the Ice to try and solve Justin McChesney's scoring punch with some  double teaming,  but the Rainmakers forward managed to power through that strategy with timely buckets.

As the second quarter headed towards its conclusion the Rainmakers had slowed the Isfeld attack, recapturing some of their offence towards the half time horn, having kept Ice in their sights, closing the half just two points behind at 45 - 43.

The opportunity to rest up from the frantic pace and go over their game plan brought the Rainmakers back out looking to revisit the success of the previous two games this week, but the path towards victory would bring a few more nervous moments.

Isfeld came out strong in the third quarter putting some more space on the score sheet with a five point lead by the three minute mark.

That would be a short lived advantage,  as the Rainmakers settled down their offence, chipping away at the lead, taking advantage of turnovers to pick up some unanswered points.

Charles Hays began to turn the tide towards the seven minute mark of the third, rattling off a few more baskets including a monster three pointer by Garret Kobza, which seemed to knock the Ice off their pace.

By three quarter time, the lead was up five in the Rainmakers favour, with but ten minutes to take them to a berth in the finals.

The fourth quarter provided a fair share of dramatics in the opening five minutes.

The Rainmakers jumping out to a six point lead three minutes in, a turnover at mid court however gave Isfeld life, as they capitalized on the mistake to claw back two points.

A sudden reversal of play that made for a nervous Rainmaker cheer section, anxiously watching both the court and the clock as the game tightened to 68-65 with but two and a half minutes to go.

Some aggressive Rainmaker play in the Isfeld end provided dividends, as an Isfeld foul on Justin McChesney and his successful shots from the foul line, allowed the Charles Hays squad some breathing room to bring the game home.

The Rainmakers played out the final minutes with another display of their strong team defensive work, a trademark late in all of their games this week and through their season for that matter.

Their pressure in denying Isfeld any kind of approach to the basket, limited them to desperation three attempts, which came up short. Each attempt reminding the Ice  that time suddenly was a very real enemy.

Charles Hays handled the final moments of play with no sense of nervousness, the Rainmakers working the clock to limit any chance of some late game Isfeld heroics.

With one final possession, the Rainmakers held the ball to the backcourt until the buzzer, a 73 to 65 victory sending them to the Championship final on Saturday night.

It has been quite a week for the Charles Hays squad, arriving under the radar a bit as the tournament started, letting their play serve notice that they were at the Tournament to grab their shot for a Championship.

As each game went by the buzz was building, the higher seed teams falling day by day.

By late Friday afternoon, everyone in Langley was talking about the Rainmaker run and what may be a historic evening of basketball for the North Coast on Saturday.

After three days of tournament play the ultimate goal in Provincial AAA basketball is in sight. As the Rainmakers launch their quest for the banner against Burnaby's St. Thomas More Knights at 6 PM.

You can follow the progress of the final day of the AAA Provincial Tournament from our anchor page, where you can find past results from the tournament, items of interest from the week and our link to Live Streaming Video for the Championship game at 6 PM.

For a review of our past Rainmaker items from this path form the start of the season, to the Tournament Final see our Rainmaker Archive page.

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