For the sixth straight season, the Duncan Christian School Chargers are the Island single-A senior boys basketball champions.
Playing in their home gym, the Chargers downed St. Andrews School 61-46 on Saturday night to take yet another Island banner and accomplish one of their goals for the season.
“During the season, guys worked hard and gained a lot of experience, learned new skills — possibly regret for not playing last year or working more on skills in the off season,” Chargers coach Jim Brandsma said. “As we continued to work together, the guys learned more about their teammates and as we travelled for tournaments, the guys just really had a great time being part of our team and getting along with each other.”
The Chargers got a bye through the first round at the Island tournament, then beat Ucluelet 67-44 in the semifinals to set up the showdown with St. Andrew’s.
Mike Brandsma was named Player of the Game against Ucluelet on his way to making the first all-star team, while brother Matt was named Player of the Game against St. Andrew’s and was selected to the second all-star team. Adam Kapteyn was named tournament MVP.
“We had a couple key guys step up at various times throughout both games, along with our supporting cast, to give the two wins we needed to secure our sixth consecutive championship,” Jim Brandsma said. “This is only possible when you have coaches dedicated to making kids better ball players. I am very fortunate to have a good group of midget and junior coaches who share the same basketball philosophy. It all starts with fundamentals of the game and we continue to practice those right into Grade 12, so when guys move up to the senior level they do have the raw skill needed to become successful.”
The six Island banners haven’t come easily as the Chargers have had to reconfigure their game plans based on the roster.
“Each year it surprises me as to what works and what doesn’t,” Brandsma said. “It all comes down to who we have on the team and their abilities and then we have to build the defensive and offensive strategies around them as a team unit. This year proved no different.”
The Chargers are headed to the provincial championships in Langley on March 8-11 with the aim of finishing near the top of the field. The team was an honourable mention in the most recent rankings, but have been highly regarded all season.
“We are always looking to be top eight and we always have one eye on top four,” Brandsma said. “This year in the rankings there have been many ups and downs and so I really see it as anyone’s game.”