Last week at Aldergrove Community Secondary marked the fifth triumph for the school’s Grade 12 boy’s basketball team.
The Totems took on their cross-town rivals the D.W. Poppy Redhawks, on Wednesday Jan. 21, in a close match that ended in a score of 63-57 for Aldergrove.
Head coach and ACSS teacher Weston Wedan, who served as an assistant coach last season, said it was the team’s fifth win this time around.
Aldergrove’s players were seen weaving in-and-out of their competition – a skill Wedan has challenged the crew with since they first began competing in Grade 10.
They have “worked tirelessly” at a game most of them began playing just two seasons ago, he said – “this is the only basketball [most of them] have ever played.”
By 2:20 in the third quarter the score was 49-48 for the Totems, both teams having periodically taken precedence on the scoreboard.
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Aldergrove and Poppy were neck-and-neck 55-54 with 4:29 left in the game. At 2:20, Poppy prevailed with another successful shot on net, taking the lead 57-56.
The crowd was tense at 00:32 seconds left in the game, until Aldergrove scored, taking back the lead and winning the game after netting subsequent free throws.
With at least four fouls registered by both teams, foul shots became a regular occurrence of the game.
Aldergrove defeated Poppy with a final tally of 60-57.
The Totem’s coach said their “greatest strength is their bond with one another both on and off the court,” as many of the players are “best friends” in real life.
“Because of that they’ve been a joy to coach,” Wedan said, also admitting to the challenges the team has faced.
The Grade 12s, with the exception of a few Grade 10 players, “have risen above their circumstances” and “not let the score of the game dictate their passion for playing,” he added.
And finding qualified volunteers to coach sports, committing to long hours after school, is often a challenge, admitted ACSS’ PHE department head Dan Renaud.
Wedan said Aldergrove Secondary’s basketball program is in the start of a rebuild.
“We’re trying to get basketball to be a big sport again like it was in the past” for the school, Wedan added.
The Totem’s next regular season game was on Tuesday Jan. 28 against the Langley Secondary Saints in Langley.
“We’re hoping to finish the year on a high note, to the best of our ability, and with more focus on the internal scoreboard,” Wedan added.
The Totems will continue playing until mid-February when the season wraps up.