47th annual Western Canada Basketball Tournament begins: ‘I’m trying to get to the finals’

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47th annual Interior Savings Western Canada Basketball Tournament
47th annual Interior Savings Western Canada Basketball Tournament – Feb 6, 2020

The 47th annual Interior Savings Western Canada Basketball Tournament tipped off on Thursday.

The tournament features some of the best 4A high school senior boy’s teams in Western Canada.

“We have [an] eight-team field,” said David Reynolds, a tournament organizer. “They come from all over Western Canada. We have teams coming from far away, like Winnipeg.”

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The Kelowna Secondary School Owls are currently ranked third in B.C, led by seniors Jonathan Haughton and Hunter Simson.

For them, it’s not their first Western Canada Basketball Tournament and they have high expectations.

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“I think it’s going to be amazing; I think our team has a great chance to win,” said Haughton.

“The excitement around the school is a great energy that we can use on the court.”

Speaking with Global News on Thursday, Simson said he doesn’t care about the award ceremony or personal accolades. He’s more focused on hoisting the trophy.

“Well, there are the awards and everything, but to be honest, for me, since I haven’t been to the finals yet, I’m trying to get to the finals,” said Simson.

“I’m trying to win.’

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The Owl’s first game on Thursday night will have them square up against the top-ranked team in Manitoba, the Sturgeon Height Huskies.

Reynolds says the tournament is a longstanding premier-level showcase.

“The quality is excellent. We really try to pride ourselves on bringing in high-calibre teams,” said Reynolds.

“It’s great that our KSS squad gets some competition before we head off to the provincials.”

Click to play video: 'Two major development projects moving forward in Kelowna'
Two major development projects moving forward in Kelowna

For this year’s fundraiser, Interior Savings Credit Union is donating $50 to the Community Recreational Initiatives Society for every three-point bucket made by the KSS Owls during the tournament.

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C.R.I.S. Adaptive Adventures is a non-profit organization that provides opportunities for disabled outdoor enthusiasts.

“Its been a great fundraiser. We do a lot of fundraising, whether it’s through our program advertising or title sponsors,” said Reynolds.

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The tournament also features two fan favorite events, a slam dunk contest on Thursday night and a three-point contest that launches at 7 p.m. on Friday.

The tournament will cap off with the first-place game on Saturday, at 7 p.m.

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