The USS senior boys basketball team are ready for the Island Championships after coming up big at the North Island Championships on Feb. 8-10. (USS Photo)

Senior A Basketball: USS boys win North Island Championships

Ucluelet to host Island Championships on Feb. 22-24.

Ucluelet’s senior boys basketball team won the North Island Championships on Feb.8-10.

The athletic squad travelled to Gold River on Thursday for a 6 p.m. tipoff time against Nanaimo Christian. They won their tournament opener by 18 points.

On Friday, they went on to beat Gold River, the host team and Basketball on the Edge tournament winner, 48-36.

Saturday’s tournament final saw the Ucluelet Warriors narrowly defeat Nanaimo Christian 51-42.

“It was a tough fought battle right down to the end. They had a very hard road to get back to us.They played six games, we played three. They played hard the entire time. We squeaked out a win,” said Warriors team manager Jason Sam.

“All the games were really close going into the fourth quarter. We just pulled away when we needed to and won all the games at the very end.”

Senior Warrior Matteo Ludlow was named the player of the tournament.

“He played really well offensively,” said Sam, adding that Grade 9 team member Bryson George also had a noteworthy tournament.

“Bryson played really well as a Grade 9 coming off the bench. He had some amazing shots when we needed him to. He kind of stole the game when we needed him to steal the game.”

NORTH ISLAND CHAMPIONSHIPS: Complete tournament results

The tournament victory puts the Warriors in first place going into the Vancouver Island Championships on Feb. 22-24 in Ucluelet.

As the first seeded team out of eight, the Warriors will play the fourth ranked team from the South Island.

“It is where we want to be,” said Sam. “We worked really, really hard to get to this spot all year. We talked to the boys about being here all year and about no game matters until we win that number one North Island Championship game and it is what we worked on all year.”

The Warriors finished fifth at last year’s North Island Championships.

Sam said having several senior Grade 12 players on the team is to their advantage, but the team has been building up for this moment for a while.

“We brought players to provincials when they were in Grade 9,” he said.

The Boys Senior A Vancouver Island Championships start on Thursday, Feb. 22 at 2 p.m. in the USS Gymnasium.

“We are the team to beat. We are coming in knowing that we should be in the top two or three teams to win this thing. We hope that we get a lot of crowd support,” said Sam.

The senior girls basketball squad travel to Victoria for the Island Championships on the same weekend.

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