Churchill basketball bullish early on
The Churchill Hill School Bulldogs varsity boys basketball team is chomping its way through the competition early in the season. The team started the season with a tournament win and – between that tournament and six games of league play — has won every time it’s stepped on the court. It began this week at No. 1 on the Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association’s AAAA varsity boys’ rankings.
“It’s definitely a good feeling — the first time we’ve been ranked in the Top 10 in a long, long time. And at Churchill, I’m not sure if they’ve ever been in AAAA before, so it’s new territory. Especially to be No. 1,” coach and Churchill High School teacher Roman Meyer said.
Meyer said going forward the team is going to have to step up to the challenge of being in top spot and knowing all other teams will be gunning for them.
“You’ve got to have some resiliency if you’re going to keep that No. 1 rank, and you’re going to take on everybody and all comers,” he said.
Meyer said his players seem to be able to do it all, which makes them a tough matchup for any opponent.
“We’ve got three or four guys that any given night can hit three or four threes, and then we got other guys who can throw down three or four dunks. We’re kind of a jack-of-all-trades like that. Whatever style we match up against, we’re able to adjust and play that style game,” he said.
Small forward Shadrak Lasu said the team has been working hard in practice and seeing the results on the court.
“We’re staying determined, staying focused, trying to make sure everyone’s on the right page. Everyone’s communicating, talking to each other on the court and even in practice. That builds chemistry, and it’ll take us a long way,” the 17-year-old Lasu said.
Lasu said he’s been happy with his own play so far this season.
“I’ve been crashing the boards, getting a couple dunks every game. I’m just doing my thing, running up and down the floor, making sure I space out for the other guys. Making sure I play defence,” he said.
Grade 12 point guard TJ Capuno said he’s been loving the energy the team has brought this year.
“Playing with these guys has been a blast. Every day, coming in here, it’s been full of energy and going crazy. Probably one of the best times of my life playing with a team like this,” Capuno said.
Capuno and Lasu both said the team’s ultimate goal is clear — to bring home a provincial championship banner. But first the team will have to sustain its strong play to win a divisional title. The Bulldogs are the early favourite, but because of that will be wearing a target on their backs for the remainder of league play.
Cody Sellar is the reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review West. He is a lifelong Winnipegger. He is a journalist, writer, sleuth, sloth, reader of books and lover of terse biographies. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 204-697-7206.