Monday, January 16, 2017

Soaring to the Top! Rainmakers teams claim Pitt Meadows Air Show and Coastal Clash championships

The Charles Hays Senior Boy's Rainmakers went undefeated
and claimed the Top Spot at the annual Pitt Meadows Air Show on the weekend
(photo courtesy B Cameron)

When the next BC AAA Boy's rankings are published in the Vancouver Province a strong case can be made to elevate the Charles Hays Rainmakers into the listings of the Top Ten, that after the Rainmakers put on a four game weekend of high scoring hoops behind them, suitable for use as Exhibit A for the selection panel.

The Charles Hays Senior Boys have been bubbling just under the High School Basketball Big List for a few weeks now, and with some statement games over the weekend, amidst some top competition the Rainmakers made for a good impression

The Senior Boy's turned on the offence at the high profile Vancouver Area tournament the Pitt Meadows Air Show, with a total of points over the course of their three days in the gym in the eastern reaches of Greater Vancouver.

The squad started the tournament off strong with a dominating performance over Burnaby Mountain, the 79 to 32 final an indication that the team was there to make sure that they were on the court for Saturday's finale. Player of the game for the Thursday match up was Liam McChesney.

Friday found the Rainmakers once again taking control of the play early and keeping to the pace they launched the tournament with, coming close to hitting the century mark with a 95 to 48 victory over Cambie. Game Two featured Rainmaker Ben Rabel selected as the player of the game.

Charles Hays was back on the court again Friday night and the toughest challenge of the weekend was waiting for them in the for of the number three ranked team in the AAA rankings, the Nanaimo Secondary Islanders.

And that high profile match up did not disappoint,  as the two teams battled back and forth through the night.

Defensive play proved to be key to the evening match up, with strong blocking and smothering defensive schemes held down the scoring from the two games previous. Hustle and blocks making for the difference between the two teams as they they measured each other out in the first half of play.

The Friday game also featured a coaching match up that featured mentor with pupil, as Rainmaker coach Mel Bishop faced former Rainmaker Jacob Thom, with the Islanders squad working their hardest to try to give their coach the victory and a major story for the tournament.

Heading into the half it looked like that interesting storyline might be in the making as the Islanders took a 31-27 lead into the dressing room at half time.

Charles Hays and Nanaimo battled through the third with the two teams remaining tied at 45 - 45 at three quarter time.

The final frame making for a frantic finish as the Rainmakers pushed on towards the buzzer to claim a 58 to 55 victory and berth in the tournament final for Saturday.  Quinn Leighton's work in the Friday evening contest was hailed by tournament officials who selected him as Friday's player of the game.

Showdown Saturday found the Rainmakers taking to the court against North Delta and high scoring, high flying basketball was back, a tightly played match up which saw the Rainmakers go into half time with a 39-33 lead.

The Makers' pulled away in the third quarter going and played hard through the fourth to ensure that the Huskies abandoned any thoughts of a run for a come back. Holding their lead through the final quarter on the way to the 87-70 final.  The hard work on the court of Dionte Stephens was recognized in the tourney finale with the Rainmaker named player of the game.

Post tournament awards also had a strong Rainmaker flavour, with Ben Rabel claiming the Tourny MVP honours, while Liam McChesney and Quinn Leighton were named to the Air Show All Star selection.

Rainmakers claim the hardware at the Pitt Meadows TournamentLiam McChsesney All Star, Ren Rabel MVP, Quinn Leighton All Star
(photo courtesy B Cameron)

It was also a big weekend for the Junior Boys team, as the Rainmakers claimed the Coastal Clash Championship, putting a wrap on the annual tournament with a convincing victory over Caledonia.

The finale to the event once again bringing the two regional rivals together for another chapter in the always evolving competition across the region.

The seven team tournament featured teams from across Northwest BC, Lax Kw'alaams, Haida Gwaii as well as the Prince Rupert Middle School Storm with some strong performances on display through both Friday and Saturday's schedule.

For those that follow the Junior Rainmaker's the weekend was a bit of deja vu, as the squad once again put on an offensive display in tournament play, something that has been the common theme to their season so far.

The Coastal Classic victory adds their own tournament to the list of victories and comes on the heels of a recent trip to Prince George where they claimed the top spot in the Condor Classic tournament.

Like the Senior team, the Junior Boy's program has also been catching the eye of Basketball officials in the Lower Mainland, with the Junior team ranked at Number 9 in the most recent listings, a placement that one imagines may see an increase in the weeks to come should the Rainmakers keep up with their current pace.

Coastal Clash Champs for 2017 The CHSS Jr. Boy's Rainmakers
(photo from CHSS twitter feed)

The two Girl's programs at CHSS had an unexpected weekend off, as road conditions east of Prince Rupert meant that school travel was cancelled for both the Senior and Junior Girls who had trips set for Terrace and Smithers.

You can review some of the action from the weekend through the Charles Hays twitter feed, former CHSS teacher Brian Cameron was in the crowd for much of the tournament and has provided a large volume of photos featuring the Rainmakers in action.

Photos and notes on the Coastal Clash were also featured during Saturday's wrap to the tournament at Charles Hays Secondary.

More items related to Rainmaker Sports can be found on our archive page here.

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