The Lake City Falcons senior boys basketball team is soaring high after capturing its first tournament championship in 19 years in Hope during the weekend.
Prior to Columneetza and Williams Lake secondary combining to form Lake City secondary in 2013, the Columneetza Cougars did see some success on the provincial stage, along with racking up tournament wins during the 2009 to 2011 seasons, however, a tournament victory for WLSS remained elusive.
This most recent win for the Falcons, however, is the first for the school in senior boys hoops.
En route to the victory the team went unbeaten in three games over a mixed Hope/Ashcroft squad, then downed Hope by 12 points before taking the championship game by 15 points over Ashcroft.
Team captains Taki Faubert and Jacob Maas noticed that, when comparing the team from the beginning of the year until now, the whole team has a better understanding of the systems coach Harrison Stupich has implemented.
“It was nice to see the team come together as a unit compared to the beginning of the year,” Faubert said. “At the start of the season the team lost the first three games but is now on a seven-game winning streak. And this [coming] weekend we are hoping to extend that win streak and win another tournament.”
Maas, meanwhile, said players have been working extremely hard.
“Our practices have been really hard, but it all paid off last weekend,” Maas said.
Stupich added hard work and execution on both the offensive and defensive ends of the ball were the key to the team’s success.
“The boys played hard and tried to execute on both ends of the floor for the whole tournament,” Stupich said. “We took some positive strides this weekend and hopefully we can keep building on this momentum. I’m happy to see the boys getting along off the court, as well.”
Assistant coach John Sheppard said at the tournament, the team just “clicked” offensively.
“It was amazing to see,” Sheppard said. “They played with such confidence, supported each other as a team and celebrated each other’s successes.”
Assistant coach Jason Salter, meanwhile, said his hat goes off to coach Stupich for his abilities on the bench.
“Our team has come a long way since the beginning of the year,” Salter said.
This weekend, the team is in Ashcroft where it has been looking to rack up its second consecutive tournament victory.