Bombers overcome jitters to take down Eagles in Kootenay AA Boy’s Hoop Final

first_imgThe rest of the team joined in during the final period as the Bombers increased the lead to 19-4 run to secure the win.“I thought our zone press worked really well for us,” said Zukowski as LVR’s pressure created several Eagle turnovers that led to easy fast-break baskets.Zukowski finished the game with 25 points while Sturrup added 21.Spencer had 11 and Eberle and Erich Schepkonski each finished with six points.N. Randhawa led the Eagles with 17.LVR defeated Grand Forks in one semi final while the Eagles got past the Hawks from Trail to advance to the final.David Thompson of Invermere and Prince Charles Comets of Creston finished fifth and sixth, respectively.The Bombers return to the Hangar court for training while waiting for the 16-team tournament draw.“I’m excited about the tournament,” Zukowski exclaimed. “We went last year and played in the big (TCC Fieldhouse) gym so because we’ve been there before hopefully we’ll be able to do better.”The Bombers finished the 2012 event in 15th spot.OVERTIME: The Bombers played without Jesse Zak for most of the game. The senior starter suffered a hamstring injury early in the first quarter and was held out of the final by the training staff. . . .The tournament organizing committee at LVR honoured former teacher Blair D’Andrea with a plague on the scorer’s table, which read: Dedicated to “Coach Drey” Blair D’Andrea . . . Always a Bomber in Our Hearts. Blair D’Andrea died of an apparent heart attack Wednesday. He coached the LVR Junior Boys to a Provincial title in 2001. Maybe it was the pressure of being the pre-tournament favourite.Possibly the 200-plus hoop fans present in the Hangar was the cause for the mistake-filled performance in the first half.Whatever the reason, once the home side dusted off the A-Game there was no stopping the defending Kootenay champ as the Bombers throttled the Golden Eagles 75-43 Saturday at the L.V. Rogers Hangar in the Kootenay High School AA Boy’s Basketball Final.The Bombers now make a return trip back to represent the zone at the B.C. High School AA Boy’s Basketball Championships March 6-9 in Kamloops.“We just came out too jumpy, we were over excited a little bit but once we got into our offence and calmed down we blew them away,” a beaming Bomber captain Matt Zukowski said a few minutes after receiving the Kootenay Championship trophy from LVR Athletic Director Val Gibson.Zukowski, along with the entire starting lineup, did not have a great opening 20 minutes.That goes the same for the Bomber bench as the team missed countless lay-ups and in-close shots to lead 14-12 after one quarter and 26-21 at recess.But a late bucket with only a few seconds left on the clock before halftime by Tobin Eberle and some words of wisdom from the Bomber coaching staff made for a different second half for the home side.Bombers rang up 49 points on the Eagles, 18 coming from Zukowski who cut through the Golden interior defence to pick up most of his points.“I was sweating a little bit,” Zukowski confessed heading into the halftime break. “But (head coach) Ross (Naka) just told us to settle down and run the offence and it worked out in the end.”Once the third quarter started it was like there was a different team inside the Bomber home jerseys.Zukowski began taking the ball inside where he was able to score 12 points.Senior teammate Jack Sturrup added eight points while Isaiah Kingdon and Cail Spencer adds a few buckets.last_img read more