Organizers look to lock up tournament for three more years

MARK HUNTER / Kamloops Daily News
March 9, 2012 01:00 AM

G.W. Graham's Josiah Cockrill gets some air between Windsor's Matthew Ros (11) and Dyllan Quon (7) on Thursday at the TCC.

Brian Peters is pretty confident that Kamloops' pitch to earn the right to play host to the provincial AA basketball championships through 2016 will be well received.

But even he doesn't know what the future holds for the boys' half of the tournament.

Peters is co-chair of the provincial committee, which is playing host to the B.C. AA tournament for the 14th year in a row. Kamloops also is confirmed to play host to the tournament in 2013.

The committee will go to B.C. School Sports today with a bid to play host to the 32-team tournament in 2014, 2015 and 2016. It should be a pretty easy sell - after all, Kamloops has always put on a great show, and the Tournament Capital Centre is a perfect venue for such an event.

But there's one thing that's bothering Peters.

There is a group of people in the province looking to create four tiers in boys basketball, up from the current three tiers - AAA, AA and A. Should a fourth tier (AAAA) be added to the mix, it could affect the running of the tournament.

Kamloops currently has three AA programs - the Sa-Hali Sabres, Valleyview Vikings and Westsyde Whundas. Tiers are determined based on number of eligible students per school.

"I think our AA teams would still be AA," Peters said Thursday. "I don't know what the numbers would be, but I hope it wouldn't change much.

"But, for instance, if the Sa-Hali girls were AA, and the Sa-Hali boys are AAA, all of the sudden, we don't know what we're doing here.

"In theory, we could have no AA boys teams in town, and couldn't run a tournament."

Peters said a motion to create four tiers was shot down last year. A similar motion is expected this year.

The decision will be made at the provincial AAA boys championship in Vancouver on March 17.

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here are three big reasons why Kamloops more than likely will get the AA tournament for another three years, Peters said.

The first two are simple - the great venues at the TCC and TRU Gym, and a terrific base of volunteers that has carried this tournament through a successful 13-plus years.

The other is a more complicated.

"If they say they don't want to come to Kamloops, they have to offer to run it themselves," Peters said. "And, honestly, nobody can run it like we do."

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hey were part of opposite teams Thursday, but Chuck Ferguson and Becky Fernandez should get to know each really well over the next seven months.

Fernandez had 12 points and 11 rebounds as the Vancouver-Britannia Bruins defeated the Sa-Hali Sabres 70-50 at the Tournament Capital Centre.

Fernandez, a 6-foot-2 centre, has signed on to play for the TRU WolfPack next Canada West season.

Ferguson serves as an assistant coach for the WolfPack, under head coach Scott Reeves.

Ferguson, who also helps coach Sa-Hali, didn't offer up any pointers to Fernandez, but she didn't mind.

She's quite thrilled to have the chance to play for the WolfPack.

"They needed a post player, so it was a good fit," Fernandez said. "Everything is great - the team dynamic and playing in the CIS."

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ernandez has been getting to know some of her future WolfPack teammates - there were a bunch in the crowd and TRU guard Jen Ju, herself a Britannia grad, is one of the Bruins' biggest fans.

But there's also some added fun.

"Yep, there's some pressure," Fernandez said, with a laugh. "Especially because my whole team is watching and my coaches are here. I want to make a good first impression."

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he Victoria Vikes announced Wednesday that Sa-Hali's Nicole Karstein had signed on to play for the 2012-13 Canada West season, but she's not the only player at the AA tournament that's headed to Victoria in the fall.

In fact, two Vikes recruits went head-to-head Wednesday, when the North Vancouver-Seycove Seyhawks dropped the Oliver-Southern Okanagan Hornets 80-63.

Jenna Krug was on the winning end of things, pouring in 30 points and grabbing nine rebounds for the Seyhawks.

Ashley McGinnis also was excellent for the Hornets, scoring 26 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.

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