The “Kermode Kave” was the busiest it has ever been this weekend with teams from the Lower Mainland, the Sea to Sky Corridor and Washington State invading for a full day of hoops.
The first-ever Sea to Sky Classic went down on Saturday (Dec. 14) and event organizer and Quest athletic director Sean Shook said it was a good test run for the school in anticipation of the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) men’s nationals coming in March.
“I thought it went pretty good,” he said. “We had a few hiccups, but I think we realized where we had some issues arise and should iron them out by March. The flow in and out of the court was good and it’s just some of the little things we need to work on for the nationals.”
Shook said he heard nothing, but positive feedback from all seven visiting coaches and noted he had interest from other teams if the event returns.
“Everyone was positive and had good things to say and I’m glad we got to see some pretty good ball today,” he said.
Shook and his Quest Kermodes men’s team participated in the final game of the classic and came up short to the Northwest University Eagles from Washington State. The visitors picked up a 105-65. Michael Greene and Michael Russo scored 20 points each for the Eagles.
Quest was playing without top players Cartiea French-Toney and Mike Zayas-Duran but Shook said he didn’t want to use their absences as an excuse.
“We can’t make excuses,” he said. “We couldn’t do anything about it but we have to be ready with what we have. What happens if guys can’t play at the nationals?”
Shook said he liked his team’s play in the first quarter, but the Eagles, who play in the small-college National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), were a little too much on this day. He added that his team has also had a nasty illness that resulted in them being unable to practice for the past week.
“They’re a top 20 NAIA team,” he said of the Eagles. “They executed really well on offence all game, but I think we’re better than we played today.
Jose Colorado led Quest with 16 points, while Shedrick Nelson added 15. The Kermodes were dominated on the boards, only grabbing 19 to the Eagles’ 45.
Other action saw Washington State’s Lynden High School beat Vancouver’s Holy Cross 89-69 and North Vancouver’s Windsor Secondary defeat Richmond’s McMath Secondary 70-61.
Langley’s Brookswood got the better of the Howe Sound Sounders in the opening game, beating the hometown team 61-29. Head coach Max Roy said his team is still adjusting under his new strategy after he took over for longtime coach Ron Roberts this season.
“There were moments where we did well, but it’s a complicated system for the guys,” he said. “It’s a learning process for all the guys and we’re coming along.”
Roy said he liked the way his defence played, but the offense still needs some fine tuning.
“Defensively and our rebounding is good,” he said. “We’ve been holding teams to 60 or less, but I’d like to see us move the ball around a little more on offence.”
Randeep Grewal led the way for Howe Sound with 17 points and 11 rebounds, while Xeyus Arello adding seven points.
Roy said his team had a good time at the tournament and would love to be involved if it returns.
“It was great,” he said. “It’s nice to have the national anthem and I think the guys liked the introductions. It’s a really nice gym here, and for us it’s nice because sometimes it’s hard for us to get teams to come to Squamish to play us.”
Shook said the “Kermode Kave” will be partially upgraded over the holiday break and the gym should have a new look for the nationals in March. For more information on Quest athletics, visit www.questkermodes.ca.