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

Cleanup scheduled for massive dump site near Peachland

The Okanagan Forestry Task Force is cleaning up an illegal dump site near

Traffic being redirected due to grass fire on Drought Hill

Crews responded to a grass fire on Highway 97 and 97C

Lake Country uses bylaw enforcement to try and stop Airport Inn’s operations

Bylaw enforcement is ongoing, said the district community development manager

Kelowna kitchen fire quickly extinguished

A fire in a home on Cadder Avenue was put out Wednesday afternoon

Smoky stop for Greyhound bus

Bus was seen with smoke coming from its brakes, Wednesday.

Pizza places help make dreams come true

The fourth annual Papa John’s Dreams for Kids Day is held today in Kelowna and West Kelowna

Former Social Credit MLA dies at 88

Lyall Hanson was mayor of Vernon in 1981 and moved to provincial politics from 1986-96

Ailing health care biggest hurdle for Okanagan jail

PART SIX: Inmates reportedly wait weeks for broken bones to be seen, challenges with maintaining medical staff

Police searching for escaped prisoner in B.C.

Ralph Whitfield Morris, 83, is serving a life sentence for second-degree murder

B.C. set to introduce pot laws, but years of fine tuning likely: minister

Legislation regulating recreational marijuana is expected to be introduced Thursday

Accused murderer found guilty in unrelated Penticton robbery

McGenn sentenced to 5 years, now faces 2nd-degree murder trial over Abbotsford man’s 2016 death

Canadian driver uses lawn chair as driver’s seat, gets caught

Ontario police detachment caught the male driver during a traffic stop

B.C. moves to restrict pill presses in opioid battle

Minister Mike Farnworth says federal law doesn’t go far enough

VIDEO: Vets, volunteers set up vaccination station for sick bunnies

Volunteers, vets try to stop spread of lethal virus

Most Read