Mt. Boucherie Bears' guard Kache Kopec (left) drives to the basket against Rutland's Amar Sandher in senior boys high school basketball action on Saturday at RSS.

Top 10 Bears on the prowl

The Mt. Boucherie Bears senior boys basketball team among the B.C.'s top programs in 2015

With a committed group of players who love the game, the Mt. Boucherie Bears already have a leg up on many of their opponents.

Add in some pure talent, along with the coaching acumen of Kelly Broderick, and it comes as no surprise that the West Kelowna school is back in mix as one of B.C.’s most competitive basketball programs.

This week, the Bears were the ranked ninth in the province among senior boys’ 4A teams.

“These kids work hard on the court and they’re nice to be around off he court, fun to be with,” said Broderick. “It’s a really good group.”

In December, with just two practises under their belts, it was apparent Boucherie was going to match up well this season with the Lower Mainland’s top teams.

In addition to a win over Kitsilano, the Bears more than held their own in losses to Terry Fox, Van College, Yale and Pitt Meadows.

This weekend, the Bears will be tested at the Pitt Meadows tournament, then the following weekend will be at Collingwood where a number of top 10 teams are entered.

This is the fifth time in Broderick’s 10 seasons at the helm that the Bears have broken into the top 10.

The Bears are led by guard Jeff Tubbs and forward Quincy Johnson, both members of the Team B.C. program.

“The experience those two guys get at the national level is really beneficial for us, it shows on the court,” Broderick. “They’re in the gym every morning, getting shots…they love the game and play a lot.”

Broderick said Grade 12 guard Kache Kopec is coming into his own and is a threat to score 20 points on any given night.

“He’s made the turn with his game and can really get to the rim,” Broderick said.

Broderick also points senior forward Braden Koop and Grade 11 guard Treyton Waardenberg as key players in Boucherie’s rise up the rankings this season.

As is often the case, the Bears’ potential path to the provincials will include having to get past the rival KSS Owls, this week the No. 5-ranked team in the province.

The two teams will square off twice over the final weeks of the regular season then, barring any major upsets, the Owls and Bears will meet once again in the valley final in late February.

Still, even with what seems inevitable, Broderick said his Bears are taking the season quarter by quarter, game by game.

“That’s the thing, it’s a step at a time for us,” said Broderick. “You have to go through this journey, individually and collectively. Our defense is starting to come, we’re going to add in some new wrinkles, be dedicated to what we’re doing and work to get to the next level.”

Unfortunately, for Okanagan basketball, only one team from the valley will advance to the boys 4A provincials.

Broderick and many others here would like to see the door opened to more teams, including two from the valley—but so far that has yet to happen.

At the very least, Broderick would like to see a wild card game made available for the second-place valley finisher.

“If you’ve proven yourself (to be among the best) and you can compete, then why not, why shouldn’t you be allowed to compete at provincials,” he said.

“The people who make those decisions don’t want to expand the tournament, so for now we have to live with that.”

The Bears and Owls will square off next Tuesday at Mt. Boucherie in a 7:45 p.m. tip off.


Just Posted

Kelowna golf course ready and open for spring business

Two Eagles Golf Course opened Saturday, more to come

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA hopes annual climb will promote peace

MLA Norm Letnick’s 5th Annual Spring Climb for Health & World Peace is April 6

Possible assault to bus driver in Kelowna

A minor bus crash was reported just after 8 p.m. Friday night

Car crash nearly sends car over embankment in West Kelowna

RCMP search for driver of alleged stolen vehicle that caused crash

Update: Highway 3 reopened following rockslide near Keremeos

The slide occurred Friday March 22, at about 8 p.m. between Red Bridge and Standing Rock

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Okanagan woman launches sewing studio

“I know there’s a lot of people up and down the valley that would love to sew.”

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

Letter: Stop raising the minimum wage

To the editor: The government is looking for ways to put more… Continue reading

Letter: Immigration will not help other countries, or our own

To the editor: Firearms are not the culprit in all those massive… Continue reading

Letter: Sprawl destroying natural landscape

To the editor: I agree with the assessment by Ian Pooley in… Continue reading

Former Okanagan teen found safe after disappearing from YVR airport

Ethan Burnett, 14, was found safe in Kelowna on March 22

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Most Read