Olds Koinonia Christian School senior boys equipped for post-season run
Tuesday, Feb 16, 2016 06:00 am
They're big, they gallop down the floor and move the ball at a dizzying pace, sinking open jumpers. As the season approaches its crest, Olds Koinonia Christian School senior boys basketball coach Ray Kellsey is still trying to keep his team grounded in the middle of a very successful year.
The Royals were ranked No. 10 among 1A schools in the province when the ASAA released its first Top 10 list in January. They were the only team from South Central Zone named.
OKCS has a 5-1 record in league play. Overall, including games played at tournaments, they're 14-2.
From March 11-12, OKCS hosts the South Central Zone basketball championship for 1A boys.
"We're the team everybody's coming after," Kellsey said.
"We always go in with a humble attitude … we're there to win it but don't go in being cocky, thinking it's going to be given to you. Every game we have to fight for."
Kellsey has five seniors on the squad: Spencer Parrott, Eithan Moench, Blaine Dejax, Thomas Rooks and Wojomo Ritchie.
From the start of the season, the team has made it a goal to win a medal at provincials, he said.
The return of Grade 10 small forward Zac Longstaff, who Kellsey said has been hurt most of the year, will help.
"He's got a good inside game and he's got a very good three-point shot. And he's a big guy. Add those things together and that makes him a pretty good weapon to have."
Kellsey has also benefited from Peter Ritchie, a parent volunteer who films every game, providing a unique coaching aid.
"We go through it before every practice," he said. "I think we're fortunate we have a dad that's willing to take that time and do that. It's a good thing. Maybe (players) don't always see their mistakes but when there is a blatant mistake, it shows up pretty fast."
Another highlight for the Royals this season has been beating their local rival, Olds High School, earlier in the year.
The Spartans won their game this past week 73-63 but the two teams were close for most of it.
"We've got some big guys that compete right with theirs. We've got shooters that can compete with theirs and we have defence that competes with them. Overall, we think we match up pretty good there."