The Prince Charles Secondary School Bulldogs are unbeaten against Kootenay opponents three tournaments into the 2015-16 senior boys’ basketball season.
PCSS won two of the tournaments and placed third in the other while going 8-0 overall versus regional rivals, the only blemish on an otherwise perfect campaign coming at the hands of a provincially ranked team from the Okanagan.
The Creston school collected its latest trophy in Kimberley on Jan. 16, topping a six-team field hosted by Selkirk secondary.
The Bulldogs crushed one of the East Kootenay’s better teams in the final game 107-70, putting up 30 points in each of the second and third quarters against the Fernie Falcons.
Jake Dumas powered the attack with 48 points on the strength of 10 three-point field goals. Leo Evans added 26 points and Jamond Dortman 21 for the Bulldogs, who pulled away after a relatively close first quarter — in which they outscored Fernie 20-16 — to hold advantages of 50-36 at halftime and 80-57 after three quarters.
PCSS opened the modified round-robin with an 84-56 clubbing of the Mount Sentinel Wildcats from South Slocan, putting it into the winners’ bracket with the other two first-round victors, Fernie and the Mount Baker Wild of Cranbrook.
Evans netted 28 points and Dumas 23, with Jordin Czar chipping in 13.
The Creston squad’s other victory came against the Wild, which trailed throughout the contest (by double digits on more than one occasion) but always clawed back to keep it close, finally succumbing 81-75.
PCSS held quarter leads of 31-21, 43-38 and 66-55 and seemed to have the outcome in hand late in the fourth quarter when Mount Baker used a 9-0 spurt to narrow a 78-66 deficit to 78-75 and put a scare into the Bulldogs, who iced the game with three free throws in the final seconds.
Evans (with 30 points), Dumas (19) and Marcus Bell (eight) paced PCSS.
It was the second title of the season for PCSS, which opened its schedule in December by going undefeated in three games to win a tournament at Mount Sentinel. Victories over Nakusp, Mount Baker and Selkirk sent the team into the Christmas break with a perfect record.
The Bulldogs’ only defeat came in a tournament at L.V. Rogers secondary in Nelson on Jan. 8 and 9 against an Osoyoos Rattlers’ squad ranked No. 6 in the provincial single-A poll.
They won their other two games, however, to clinch third place out of nine entrants, including a thrilling 73-69, come-from-behind victory in the bronze-medal match against the host Bombers, a triple-A team which led 40-32 at the half and by as many as 18 points in the third quarter.
There was no quit in the Bulldogs as they launched an 11-0 run after falling behind 53-35 to swing the momentum and ultimately turn an apparent blowout into an improbable triumph.
Still trailing 67-63, the Bulldogs netted 10 straight points to stun the home team.
Dumas hit for 29 points and Dortman for 22 to lead the scoring for PCSS, which also defeated Mount Baker — another triple-A school — en route to the third-place game.
The Bulldogs put up a stiff fight against the Rattlers before falling 86-74 in a game that was tied 44-44 at halftime. Dumas led the way with 27 points.
PCSS is scheduled to play at Mount Baker on Jan. 29 and 30 before hosting its own tournament in Creston on Feb. 5 and 6.
A tournament in Fernie on Feb. 12 and 13 precedes the East Kootenay double-A zone championships Feb. 26 and 27, from which one team will advance to the provincials in Langley.