The Prince Charles Secondary School Comets blazed oh so close to earning a berth in the 2014 provincial senior boys’ basketball championships on Feb. 21 and 22 before being eclipsed by the host Golden Eagles.
The Prince Charles Secondary School squad dropped an 80-33 decision in the East Kootenay AA title match played Feb. 22 at Golden secondary.
The Comets had reached the zone championship game the night before with a 76-63 semifinal triumph over the David Thompson Secondary School Lakers from Invermere in a game also played at Golden.
The defending zone champion Eagles staked themselves to an 18-11 lead in a first quarter, which left the Comets still very much in contention. Cold PCSS shooting in the second quarter, however, allowed Golden to extend the margin to 31-15 by halftime.
Despite many clean looks at the basket, PCSS shooters didn’t record their first points of the second quarter until just one minute 43 seconds remained before the intermission.
Golden, it’s worth noting, wasn’t faring much better at the other end of the court, having put up only a half-dozen points of its own to that stage in a defensive-dominated period.
The Eagles pulled away with a 15-0 run to begin the third quarter and cruised from there, taking a 58-21 lead into the final frame.
Kieran Poznikoff was the PCSS representative on the zone tournament all-star team.
The Comets avenged an early season loss to the Lakers by rallying for a hard-fought victory in the semifinals.
Down 17-14 after 10 minutes, the Comets fell behind by as many as 10 in the second quarter before closing to within a pair at halftime, 36-34. The Comets found their form after the break, seizing a seven-point lead after three quarters and never letting their Invermere rivals get any closer.
Jared Kuny paced the PCSS attack with 29 points while Brayden Czar contributed 22 in one of the team’s best all-around performances of the season. Poznikoff was also in double figures with 11 points.
The Comets were without two players for the season-ending tournament, including Grade 12 guard Riley Hills, whose place in the starting five was taken by Grade 11 student Donovan Osterreicher.
Making the trip but unable to play was Grade 11 post player Mitchell Bell, who had claimed valuable minutes off the bench during the season but suffered a concussion in the Comets’ last game before heading to Golden, at Stanley Humphries in Castlegar on Feb. 18.
That game was suspended at the time of the injury, with PCSS holding a slim lead early in the third quarter.
It was the second half of a West Kootenay doubleheader, which began earlier in the day with a victory over the Mt. Sentinal Wildcats in South Slocan.
The high point of the Comets’ 2013-14 campaign was a six-game mid-season winning streak that spanned two tournament titles.
Golden, which beat the Selkirk Storm of Kimberley in the zone semifinals, will represent the East Kootenay at the AA provincials at Langley in March.