Local players Greg Jorgenson (left) and Raymond Ng square off Saturday at the Williams Lake Men's Basketball Tournament.

Local players Greg Jorgenson (left) and Raymond Ng square off Saturday at the Williams Lake Men's Basketball Tournament.

Men’s hoops tourney first in five years

The Williams Lake Men’s Basketball League hosted a four-team tournament on the weekend.

The Williams Lake Men’s Basketball League hosted a four-team tournament on the weekend at Columneetza secondary with teams from Barriere/Golden and Quesnel attending.

Martin Kruus, tournament organizer, said the basketball was competitive, the tournament went smoothly and everyone had a good time.

He added it was the first men’s basketball tournament to be hosted in Williams Lake in the past five years.

“It’s a learning process but it’s gone well,” he said. “All the teams who promised to come showed up, everyone’s friendly, they’ve complimented the refereeing and everyone who had roles to fill, such as the dry grad committee on concession, did a great job.”

The two local teams — Mike’s Men and Gregs Etc. — were in tough, Kruus said, noting the visiting clubs came hungry for competition.

“I thought our local teams certainly didn’t play their best, especially in the first couple of games,” he said.

The tournament final featured both out of town teams with the Quesnel Bulls Bandits taking a 82-52 win over Golden/Barriere.

“Golden/Barriere hung in there for a while … but just before the second half Quesnel started pulling away. They hit about a dozen three pointers in the game,” Kruus said.

The third- and fourth-place final saw Gregs Etc. defeat Mike’s Men, 72-47.

Kruus said he hopes the tournament will be something to build on for the local league.

“Hopefully we can build on it with a couple of smaller tournaments next year,” he said.

“100 Mile House expressed interest but weren’t able to come so maybe we can do a Cariboo regional semi-league — a half tournament, half league with mini tournaments every month or two. That might be the answer [to more games] in terms of demographics in the area.”

For now, though, the league is getting ready to wrap up its winter session on March 7.

Kruus said whether the league runs again in the spring depends on interest.

“We play pickup style drop-in,” he said. “Guys can come and go and if anyone wants to try it you’re welcome to. If you like it, you’re welcome to come back. If not, stay away.”

The league meets every Wednesday from 8 to 10 p.m. and on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. at Columneetza secondary. The cost is $20 for three months to help cover the gym rental.

“The out-of-town teams beat us fairly soundly so that’s a good lesson for us that we’ve got lots of improvement to do,” Kruus said.

“That means lots of learning for us but it’s been a great tournament.”

For more information on the WLMBL contact Kruus at mkruus@telus.net.