While seven senior players from the Salmon Arm Secondary Golds basketball team were recognized during their final home game of the season, it was the team as a whole that was in the spotlight at the annual Senior Night game.
Before they hit the court against the Rutland Voo Doos, seven players with the Golds who are finishing their final year were recognized for their dedication to the team.
Grade 12 students Noah Jansen, Jackson Mayes, Alton Neid, Evan Smith, Gavin Limber, Silas Hecker and Daniel Wyss were brought up in front of the crowd in the gym at the Salmon Arm Secondary Sullivan Campus where coach Aaron Smith spoke a few words recognizing the players’ commitment.
“Over the years, I have seen lots of incredible teams, but we have something I haven’t seen before in my 30 years of coaching: we have 11 guys who have committed themselves to each other,” Smith said. “Most importantly, all of these guys have stuck with it. They have never quit. They got up every morning, and if they didn’t get up, they held each other accountable. They are becoming not only better players, but better people.”
After the senior players were recognized, players from the Golds and the Voo Doos hit the court.
The Golds began to build an early lead in the first quarter, pressuring Rutland offensively.
By the end, the Golds would take the game by a margin of 91-75, giving the senior players a final taste of victory on their home court.
Evan Smith had 25 points during the game, Gavin Limber also earned 25 points and 13 rebounds, Alton Neid scored 12 points and Daniel Wyss added 10 points of his own during play.
The Golds play Jasper Place from Edmonton, the number-one ranked team from Alberta, on Feb. 7 at the Western Canada Tournament in Kelowna.
Their final two league games are Feb. 12 and 15 against Mount Boucherie in West Kelowna and Pen High in Penticton.