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Cariboo NE, North West at opposite ends of Basketball standings during BC Summer Games

Talk about home court advantage.

Team Cariboo-North East is off to a dazzling start in U-14 Boys Basketball moving to 2-0 after a 73-46 victory over Fraser Valley.

After a close first half, Cariboo rode the wave of momentum from the home crowd at Duchess Park Secondary going on several runs and putting Fraser Valley into foul trouble.

The team made up of Prince George kids, is being led by head coach Nick Novak.

Players like Colby Van Camp were itching to measure up against the province’s best in their age group after two years of uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“It’s great to be in your home town with your home fans and in your home court. It’s good to play here. The experience so far has been phenomenal,” said Van Camp.

They say familiarity breeds success and that couldn’t be more true for Cariboo big-man Daniel Dron who attends Duchess Park.

He told Vista Radio the team-first approach propelled them to victory.

“You know, you just gotta be big, you have to be strong, your teammates have your back and everything will work out in the end,”

Cariboo-North East will now look to sweep the round robin against another undefeated team in Vancouver Island Central-Coast (2-0) with tip off at 10am from Duchess Park.

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The winner of that game slides off into the semi-finals at 6pm that same evening against the second-place finisher in Pool B.

Cariboo North East was victorious in its tournament opener, escaping with a 50-45 against the Kootenays.

In other action, team North West, which is mostly kids from Terrace and Prince Rupert dropped to 0-2 following a 45-31 defeat against Vancouver Coastal.

(Sarfo Agyemang of Team North West dribbles the ball into the paint during the 2022 BC Summer Games. Photo supplied by Brendan Pawliw, MyPGNow.com staff)

Head Coach Kevin Sawka told Vista Radio post game that youth is being served as only 30 kids showed up for regional tryouts ahead of the Summer Games with no one from Smithers or Houston taking part.

“We’ve got a young group. We have three grade sevens that are playing up with our grade eights and this is big competition for them. Our guys don’t get big tournaments like this all the time so the biggest thing for us is to come in and get as much experience as possible.”

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“We’ve been practicing and playing for the past three months and this is kind of the peak for us right now. It is what it is and you keep learning from it. You either win or you learn that’s how it goes,”

One of the main bright spots for North West is the play of Sarfo Agyemang who was often the epicenter of their offense.

Agyemang stated the experience will help push him to become a better player.

“We could have played better on defense. We kind of let people cut in front of us instead of jump into the ball. This experience has been fun, it kind of sucks that we didn’t win but it’s big to be competing against better people, seeing how they play and adapting to that,”

Vancouver Island Central Coast outlasted North West in its tournament opener 41-27.

North West’s final round-robin game is slated for 11:30am against Fraser River (2-0).

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