Photo by Paul Yates, Vancouver Sports Picture
Just wait ’til next year.
It’s a familiar refrain among teams that show promise.
But in the case of the McMath Wildcats, there’s solid foundation to support the notion.
With the school’s juvenile girls’ team netting the provincial championship recently, and the senior squad a mere basket shy of upsetting the Brookswood Bobcats and going on an extended run at the B.C.’s, there really is reason for optimism.
A young team that loses five players to graduation this year, the Wildcats as a collective gained considerable—and valuable—experience this season. Given their athleticism and collective determination, that can only be a benefit for the 2019-20 season.
The McMath-Brookswood senior girls’ game at the provincials was widely seen as “the game of the tournament” according to coach Chris Kennedy. The Wildcats then went on to drop its final three games by a combined seven points, and completed the campaign with a 31-14 record that included its sixth straight Richmond city title and a second-place finish at the Lower Mainlands.
Kennedy extended a special thank you to John Wilson for his work with this season’s five graduating players; all of whom he’s worked with since they were in elementary school.
“It is these kind of connections that build strong basketball programs like ours,” he said.
Kennedy also praised the contributions of Steve Flynn. Since joining the coaching staff three years ago, the Wildcats have compiled an 83-38 record and qualified for a pair of provincial championship tournaments.
Going into next season, 10 players will have at least one or more years of high school eligibility remaining, and are already forecast to be among the favourites for a B.C. championship.
“It will be continue to exciting to watch the girls grow and develop,” he says. “The girls will have one of the toughest tournament schedules in B.C., including returning to the Big Ticket, Victoria Christmas Classic, and Tsumura Invitational. A year older and stronger will make a big difference.
McMath’s boys’ basketball also had a strong year, led by the junior team which finished second in the province after dropping the B.C. final 66-37 to Burnaby South Rebels.
Clearly, there’s something good in the water at McMath.