Vic High Totems off to hot start

When Cory Ahlers took over as head coach of the Vic High Totems senior boys' basketball, he admits the first few months were tough.

When Cory Ahlers took over as head coach of the Vic High Totems senior boys’ basketball team two years ago, he admits the first few months were tough.

Players often had other commitments or jobs, making it challenging to get a team on the floor for practice. The team would only rally a handful of players every other week for drills and their lack of practice translated to poor performance on the court, said Ahlers.

“It was hard to get guys out. It was really hard to build a program because they just didn’t have enough players,” Ahlers said. “(Coaches) before could only get a practice every two weeks. Guys were missing practice because they had to work . . . it was tough.”

However, all that has changed this season. In fact, the Totems are off to their hottest start in recent years, going undefeated in their first three regular season games so far.

They opened the season with a win over the Royal Bay Ravens 61-31 and defeated the Reynolds Road Runners 58-45. In the team’s most recent game last week, they tallied a 71-51 win over the Pacific Christian Pacers.

Forward Lyndon Hamilton is leading the team and league in scoring with 63 points, followed by Chris Nkurunziza with 23 points and Raphael Macsaquit with 22.  Currently, the Totems are the top ranked boys AAA team on the lower Island.

“They’re hungry. I know that a couple of guys realize this is a really big year for the school,” said Ahlers, adding there is more structure, changing up defenses and running offenses, during practices.

“We have a talented team. Guys are just buying in to playing as a team, to working together. Just the bonding process has really helped us as well.”

A number of factors have led to the team’s success so far this year. Vic High’s athletic director Greg Pitre believes the fact that many players have played together since middle school, the school’s decision to host the Island AAA Championships from Feb. 23 to 25 and the team making an appearance at the Island Championships last year for the first time in a decade, has resulted in a highly-competitive and motivated team on the court.

“By going to the Island Championships last year, it gave us that fuel to take some bigger steps,” Pitre said, adding assistant coach Tak Niketas has been a big influence on the team as well. “That’s been something to really galvanize ourselves around. They’re a really solid group of guys that love playing basketball.”

Ahlers noted they’re not the biggest team, but their speed on the court gives them a competitive edge over others on the Island, and one they’ll continue to use to their advantage moving forward.

This year, the team’s goal is to qualify for Islands as the top ranked AAA team on the lower Island.

 

 

Just Posted

B.C. needs Disability Act: Victoria council

Council motion asks province to make B.C. barrier free

VIDEO: Uptown Noodlebox restaurant catches fire

Daycare evacuated while crews fight kitchen fire

Dance Victoria Nutcracker contest returns to Oak Bay village

Find Mr. Nutcracker and Tommy Tempo now through Nov. 26 for chacne to win ballet tickets

Victoria Police meet Aboriginal activists for afternoon flick

The group gathered as part of ongoing series of events supporting reconciliation efforts

Oak Bay snags Colonist Cup in 1-0 battle

Oak Bay, Reynolds senior boys soccer teams head for provincials Nov. 22

100,000 bulbs shine bright for Lights of Hope

St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver launched its annual campaign to raise funds for equipment, research

‘I will now live in consistent fear’: Allan Schoenborn granted escorted leaves

The Merritt man was deemed not criminally responsible in the killing of his three children in 2008

Saanich gets behind new municipal spending rules

Mayor suggests other measures, such as term limits, needed to level playing field

Kaleidoscope Theatre start season with Secret Garden

Theatre troupe to stage Secret Garden, Peter Pan the panto and Pinocchio for 2017

Hammy the deer dodges conservation officers in Prince Rupert

The famous Prince Rupert hammock deer maintains his purple threads

‘No shirt, no service, no Canada’

Shirtless Tacoma man arrested after Canadian border officials say they found meth in rental vehicle

Weekend hit list: Things to do in Greater Victoria

FRIDAY Find Mr. Nutcracker and his cousin Tommy Tempo as they visit… Continue reading

Uptown’s Christmas Tree Light Up is Saturday night

Uptown assembling 54-foot-tall tree for fifth annual Light Up

Nasty note on B.C. windshield sparks online outrage

Vernon’s Bailey McDonald is using a painful experience to start conversation about invisible illness

Most Read