The Twin Lakes Secondary School (TLSS) junior boys' basketball teams played each other in playoff action Monday evening. Yes, you read that correct, they have two teams in this year's Simcoe County Athletic Association (SCAA) basketball league.
Last year, Twin Lakes had 55 junior boys show up for basketball tryouts at the start of the season, and 53 students showed up this year.
Due to the popularity of the sport, coaches Jamie Bell and Andrew Macdonald decided that it was necessary to take on the task of having two junior boys' teams
“The interest level is there, so why not put the two teams together and get more kids involved in the sport,” said Bell.
Bell and Macdonald work together to try to split the teams up in a fashion where one would be their championship contender, and the other is utilized to develop students into better players. The strategy has worked; they have already seen successful results.
“From the second team last year, we had three players make the senior team and one went on to be a starter,” Bell said with pride.
“Those players only had the opportunity because they got to play on our second team. There is no way they can get better without playing organized basketball.”
The Thunderbirds' first team finished in first place this season and their second team finished in fourth spot, just good enough for a playoff spot, and a matchup with their peers.
This game was much anticipated by the players, said coach Bell.
“They love having the chance to compete against each other and they play a lot harder.”
The Thunderbirds' first team got out to a massive 37-10 lead after the first half, a result of sloppy play from the second team, caused by frustration.
Coach Macdonald was able to settle his squad down, and the second team broke out in the beginning stages of the second half; they were led by Drew Seanderon who netted 10 points in the game, leading the second team in scoring.
Coach Bell was also able to make his own adjustments and get his squad to put the foot back on the gas. The first team was led by Simon Loft and Wyatt Thompson who both scored 12 points in the game.
In the end, the Thunderbirds' first team was just too powerful, rolling to an impressive 63-37 win. They will now host the SCAA championship game Wednesday night, where they will try to repeat as regional champion.
It's not yet known who they will face in the title clash.