The Westpark Royals varsity boys' basketball team is proud of their second straight successful season.
The squad won their league title quite handily, won their provincial qualifier, and made it to the 'AA' Provincial Championship for the second year in a row.
In 2022, Westpark made it as the host school but this time around, they earned their way in. While they didn't get the results they wanted at the event, head coach Dave Britton is still very proud of what this team was able to accomplish.
"The guys played their hearts out as usual. We ended up not winning either of our games but they were definitely competitive games," Britton explains. "I felt like we had an opportunity but we just ran into foul and injury trouble. With a short and young bench, that affects us more than some other teams. In the end, that was the difference."
Britton says in spite of the loss and the injuries, they enjoyed their experience at the tournament and are celebrating the journey rather than the final result. Westpark had three Grade 12s on their roster this year but the rest of the squad was made up of Grade 9s and 10s.
"We had our Grade 9s who were looking at these varsity players that they're going to be matching up against on the court and have a big lump in their throat. Then we have our Grade 12s, who were chomping at the bit, ready to go," Britton explains. "Three years of basketball makes a big difference. I think the Grade 12s were able to help the Grade 9s relax as they were able to contribute but realized they didn't have to carry the load. I was really impressed with how the younger guys stepped up. They have nothing to be ashamed of. I think this will set them up really well for future years."
The Royals hoped to win their last game of the season, as every team does, but by the end of it all, the head coach was just glad to have a final send-off for their graduating players at the tournament.
"The best part was the Grade 12s were in a bit of foul trouble in our last game but they all were able to end with three or four fouls and stay on the court for the last minute," says Britton. "That was great to be able to end their season and high school career by finishing off the game."
When looking back on this season, Britton believes the one thing he'll remember most is the character of this team.
"Our Grade 12s really set a standard, working the hardest and showing what hard work looks like. The Grade 9s and 10s picked up on that and pushed themselves as well. The good old camaraderie was great. You never know what it's going to be like with that big of an age gap. There were a lot of good memories from this season."
Britton is excited about what the future holds for the Westpark basketball program.