A full strength Titans squad are ready for
the 2018 Legal Beagle Basketball Tournament at Terry Fox Secondary School.
After a disappointing finish in the Tsumura Basketball Invitational back in December, the South Kamloops Titans are coming down to the Valley again, but this time
with a chip on their shoulder.
Opening the season, the Titans were picked as the #1 AAA boys program in the province, boasting a strong senior class in guard Evan Jumaga and post Ripley Martin. These two key players were instrumental parts of their #1 ranking, and with Martin standing at 6’ 10”, South Kam looked in prime position to keep that ranking throughout the season. However, right before the TBI tournament kicked off at the Langley Events Centre, a dark cloud was cast over the program, as both players went down with injuries that kept them out the remainder of 2017.
South Kamloops ended up finishing in the bottom half of that prestigious tournament, which dropped them in the rankings to their current #4 position. SKSS coach Tim Unaegbu decided to take the positive out of the unfortunate events, casting a light on the players who gained more minutes.
“Through the injuries, we have grown as a team and gained experience for those who may not have had the opportunity [to play] with a full squad.”
With his top two players back in time for the Legal Beagle, Unaegbu wants to keep their intensity at its peak, even if it is Jumaga and Martin’s first game back.
“I expect some rustiness mainly on the offensive end, but I expect 100% effort on the defensive end of the floor and on the bench supporting their teammates.”
Being located in the Okanagan, the Titans have a limited amount of quality opponents to play each season, so these top-tier tournaments are a way for them to match themselves with the top programs from around BC.
“A lot of our days are spent practicing which can be mentally draining when you want to play more games. Having the chance to play high caliber teams down on the coast allows us to keep the morale of the team high as we can gauge where we are at.”
The Legal Beagle kicks off today at 3:15pm at Terry Fox Secondary School, with the Titans facing a strong WJ Mouat team. Being an alumnus of the host school, Unaegbu knows the traditions and values of this tournament and has relayed that to his team prior to the start of their weekend.
“I told my team that there is a pattern that follows the winner of this tournament and we would love to continue it.”