B.C. nets Games gold
For a team that had only been together for six weeks, B.C.’s men’s basketball squad was one close bunch.
“I love those guys,” said Joe Davis, a Kamloops product.
“We’re a big family.”
The tight-knit squad cruised to an 86-44 victory over Manitoba to clinch Western Canada Summer Games gold at the Tournament Capital Centre (TCC) on Tuesday, Aug. 9.
The Westsyde secondary student finished the game with four points, five rebounds and one steal, but his statistics were not the topic of conversation after the game.
Davis was more concerned with the magnitude of the victory and what it meant to his teammates.
“All the guys are smiling on the bench,” Davis told reporters after the final buzzer sounded.
“This is the biggest game of my life . . . I hope there are more moments like this.”
B.C.’s coach, Brian Meier of Richmond, said he made a point of fostering camaraderie when the team was formed six weeks ago.
“That’s one of the things I try to do is build that team feeling,” Meier said.
“We had a go-carting excursion and we had a potluck barbecue so all the families could meet each other.
“From the second day on, everyone looked like the best of friends.”
Martin Bogajev, who was named tournament MVP, led the way for B.C. in the final, scoring 26 points in 23 minutes.
The atmosphere inside the TCC was electric and, to the travelling Manitoba fans’ credit, they cheered their squad to the bitter end, voicing their support with “We still love you!” chants deep into the fourth quarter.
Meier said the B.C. supporters contributed to his squad’s lopsided victory.
“You could feel the postive energy from the crowd transfer to us on the bench and on the floor,” Meier said.
The Games’ final marked the last time that group of players will patrol the hardcourt at the same time.
It was a great way to go out.
“We are done as a team, but we’ll stay together and no one will forget anyone else,” Davis said.