By Bruce Fuhr, The Nelson Daily
The L.V. Rogers Bombers are heading back to Spoolmak Country — that’s the site of the B.C. High School AA Boy’s Basketball Championships for those keeping score at home.
John Zak scored 16 points to lead the Bombers to a convincing 64-49 victory over the David Thompson Lakers of Invermere Saturday in the Kootenay AA Boy’s Basketball Final at the Grand Forks Gymnasium.
The Bombers now advance to the AA Championships March 7-10 at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops.
“The goal has always been to win the Kootenays and go to provincials, “ said Bomber head coach Ross Naka. “I’ve been telling guys the goal is not to win provincials, it’s to get there and have an extra four games that only 16 teams get and see what happens from there.”
Leading 10-5 after one period, the Bombers put the thumbscrews to the Laker offence by using the team’s depth.
Rolling in fresh bodies off the bench, LVR out scored David Thompson 18-11 to lead 32-16 at the half.
LVR continued to roll in the third quarter to lead 46-27 before holding off a brief charge by the Lakers in the fourth.
“The East teams were good . . . there was nothing wrong with the competition,” Naka said. “ What pushed us over the top and separates us from other teams is our depth. We’ve got 11 guys were other teams only have eight or seven or six guys.”
“I really noticed it in the final where everyone on our team played minutes and good minutes and they only had six guys,” Naka added.
Garrett Perry and Matt Zukowski each scored 12 points for the Bombers to lead the balanced attack.
Max Regitnig led the Lakers with a game-high 28 points — with 16 points coming in the fourth quarter with LVR in complete control of the game.
Invermere defeated Grand Forks and Fernie to advance to the final.
LVR advanced to the final by edging the Golden Eagles 60-53 in semi final action.
The Eagles probably was the top seed earlier in the season from the East Kootenay, but a few losses down the stretch dropped the squad into the fourth seed in the tournament.
Zak once again provided senior leadership and scoring to lead LVR with 18 points. Jack Sturrup added 12.
The game was close throughout with LVR holding quarter leads of 19-14 and 33-32. The game was tied 46-46 after three periods.
The Bombers opened the tournament by blasting the J. Lloyd Crowe Hawks 100-34.
Erich Schepkowski had 18 while Perry had 16.
The Bombers enter the tournament with the uneviable task of facing top ranked Mission Roadrunners on opening day.
“We didn’t make it last year to provincials so we deserve to be No. 16,” Naka admitted.
“So why not face the top ranked team in the tournament and see how we do."
Host Wolves finish sixth following narrow loss to Storm
Damien Rougeau scored 17 points but that was not enough as the host Grand Forks Wolves dropped a 66-62 decision to the Selkirk Storm of Kimberley during consolation round play at the Kootenay High School AA Boy's Basketball Championships Saturday in the Boundary City.
Jamie Ferguson and Heath Bergum each added 16 for the Wolves.
Grand Forks opened with another heartbreaking loss, dropping a 56-55 game to finalist David Thompson Lakers.
Rougeau once again paced the Wolves attack with 25 points while Brodie Hall had 11.
The Wolves bounced back to dump Prince Charles Comets of Creston 60-51.
Rougeau with 20 and Jamie Ferguson with 12 led Grand Forks offensively.