After a decade and a half of being a top ranked, perennial powerhouse in BC High school Basketball, the tradition of WRCA basketball , for all intents and purpose, may have came to an end last night. They may be back, but it will take at least five years to rebuild the program and chances are that won't happen.
Great to see so many alumni from WRCA at last nights game, including current Div 1 player Riley Barker (Portland) and Tyrell Marra (ex Div 1 - Portland State) and a lot of current CIS players.
I think this year's team was a true David vs Goliath. Traditional Scott Allen coached teams were usually loaded with aspiring Grade 10's, 11's and 12's (even Grade 9's at times). Depth was never an issue. But, the day Scott Allen took over the Head Coaching duties at TWU was the day that the basketball program began a slow spiral downward at WRCA. Members of this year's team were in Grade 8 at the time of Coach Allen's departure. The core group of boys on this years team played together since Grade 5 and were all at WRCA (except for Varton who arrived in Grade 9).
Since that time, for various reasons, they did not add any new basketball playing kids to the school, and lost a number who would have contributed nicely this year. They lost a 7 footer, a 6'8" player, and a 6'3" star guard who took his talents to Lynden Christian.
This year, a lack of depth hurt this talented squad. This was the exact same team that won the BC Jurnior Championship 2 years ago (except for the loss last year of 7 footer ). Four players (Sam, Vartan, Peter and Tyus) played every minute of every game at this years tournament. To be competitive, they could not sub out as the depth on the bench was not strong to compete at the AAA level. So, they could not press, do half court traps, but still maintained a very aggressive and effective man to man defence that shut down the best teams in the province.
With 1 minute to go in last nights B.C. Championship game , and a good roll here or there, and they would have met their goal. Given they had 3 close games (2 OT wins and 2 pt thriller over Kits), their resilience to get to the finals, and make a comeback when they were down by 9 with 5 minutes to go was outstanding. A fantastic group of kids who did the final curtain call of WRCA basketball at the top level of BC high school basketball a great service.
Well done WRCA class of 2013. You put up a great fight in an epic game to the top team (Grove) in the province.