Updated: Feb 21, 2018
With senior girl’s high school provincials just around the corner, two teams from the Okanagan hope to come out on top amongst the best that BC has to offer.
Coach Del Komarniski of the South Kamloops Titans, ranked 1st overall, says despite some health hiccups, his girls know what it’s like to play a tough line-up of teams.
“We’ve played a pretty competitive schedule and we’ve done well with that. We’ve competed at the AA level; we’ve competed with the better AAA teams and the AA teams,” Komarniski says.
He emphasizes that a healthy team is ideal, of course, and tightening up some loose ends will also better the team.
“In terms of preparation [for provincials], there’s still some things we need to improve,” he says. “Some execution on offense and some understanding things on defense.”
Komarniski has been coaching in British Columbia for nearly 30 years and has even coached in the boys program at South Kam. He admires the Titans girls for their continuous hard work both on and off the court.
“I’m very happy with the team. We’ve played quite well.”
Even when dealing with an onslaught of injuries, Coach has stayed optimistic and admires the girl’s will to win.
“We’ve just been sort of bits and pieces at various points of the season, but we’ve still managed to get the job done and the girls work hard,” he says.
Recently, the Titans were a part of the action at the Interior Savings Western Canada Basketball Tournament hosted by Kelowna Secondary School. The tournament was a big highlight for the team since the inclusivity of adding girl’s teams to the schedule is still fairly fresh.
“I remember being at this tournament with my guy’s teams and always enjoyed it,” says Coach Komarniski. “The basketball community here gets behind it. It’s a big showcase for Kelowna and the organizers, and the people that make it all come together. So it was nice to be able to bring the girl’s team here and be a part of it, as well.”
The West Can tournament hosting team will also be swooping into provincials. The Kelowna Owls are 2nd overall in their respective ‘AAA’ tier and will be joining their Okanagan companions at the Langley Events Centre.
Head coach Darren Semenuik, who has been coaching in general since 1999, says his girls embraced the opportunity to play in the Western Canada Basketball Tournament as a chance to sort out any nervous moments that may arise at provincials.
“It’s good that we get some home games in front of the parents and friends and a good crowd,” he says.
As far as teams go, the Owls have soared into a special place in Semenuik’s heart.
“It’s a good, talented group of girls; really close team in terms of chemistry, so it’s been fun. I coach with a really good friend of mine and my mom also helps me out. So everyone sort of gets along really well.”
Coach says the team hasn’t been able to beat # 1 ranked Walnut Grove, but “hope to have another crack at them at provincials” to come out on top.
“We’re trying to figure out what works for us, kind of what our identity is. We’re a pretty mobile group. We can run the floor fairly well. We’re trying to iron out the best way we can apply pressure to teams in the full court,” he says.
Semenuik drove home the point that as long as the Owls can play well at the post, they may just have a shot at gold.
“If we can play in transition, play fast, and shoot the ball well, we’ll be really tough to beat.”
Catch both Okanagan teams at the ‘AAA’ and ‘AA’ Provincial Championships, happening on Feb. 28th until March 3rd, 2018 at the Langley Events Centre.
Written by: Crystal Scuor
Photo credit: Kelowna Capital News