KAMLOOPS — It's been five seasons since the second of SouthKam's back-to-back AAA provincial girls' basketball titles.
Now based on smaller boundaries, the Titans are in the AA tier for the second year.
"They tightened up our boundaries and moved people elsewhere, so our school shrunk in size, and with that reduction in numbers we feel into the AA tier," said head coach Del Komarniski.
The Titans finished fourth at the provincials last year, a result they were disappointed with. This year, they are No. 1 ranked in the province, despite a laundry list of injuries early in the year.
"I think we have a really strong team," said the team's starting point guard Lauren Walkley, who's out of the line-up currently with an injured ankle. "We have a lot of returning players from last year. Four of our starters were on the senior team last year, and the rest of them are pretty young. The other starter's in Grade 10."
Walkley, the team's starting point guard, is out with an ankle injury — one of four Titans on the IR. But the Titans have the biggest weapon in all of B.C., and that is 6'6" Olivia Morgan-Cherchas, who plays for Team Canada and is hard to handle for any team.
"She's a huge part of the team," said Walkley, who also has a twin on the team. "When we're playing teams, they almost always have two people on her, so it clears up the floor pretty well."
SouthKam has played one regular season game — a win over NorKam — and has defeated most of the top 10 AA teams in the preaseason. It's just a matter of getting some injured players back.
"We've played Britannia and GW Graham, they're [No.] 2 and 3," said Komarniski. "We've played Saint Thomas Aquinas, they're a top-10 team. We've beaten them twice. I know Westsyde is ranked quite highly [No. 6]. They're a team we need to respect, and there are some other teams that haven't been mentioned and they're respectable as well."
While the Titans are five seasons removed from their last B.C. championship, Komarniski said the program is set up nicely for the next couple years.
"I think we're in pretty good shape. We've got some exciting young players. We've got good balance through our Grade 12, 11, 10 years," said Komarniski. "We're still working with our younger years. I think the program is fine. I think we never really slipped off the map. We just kind of just go with what we've got, and I think we've got a good group of girls."
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