By: Richards Zhang
The reigning Richmond City Champs, Richmond Colts strived to continue to their impressive play from last year into this year. With the departure of last year’s grade 10 standout Jonathan Mikhlin who led the team in points, the Colts had much to prove.
The Richmond Colts started the regular season off strong beating a solid Cambie team 69-63. The team featured a high intensity four quarters of basketball and Richmond eventually taking control in the fourth, led by grade 11, Philip Gundic who ended with a game high 24 points. Following the win over Cambie, the Colts faced two very experienced teams, McMath and RC Palmer. Poor shooting and lack of experience was key factors in the McMath and RC Palmer games as they failed to come up with a victory.
As the season weighed on, upcoming star Lyon Laddaran was asked about the season after the rough start, “There were many questions in the beginning of the season, ‘Are we capable of winning without Jonathan? Who will lead to the team? How will we compare with the rest of the league without Jonathan?’ Although it is too early to answer these questions, we seem to be facing many doubters in the league. With the team composing mostly of grade 11’s, we will need a little more time building our chemistry, getting use to senior basketball and learning to adjust to the new style of play. We look to prove the doubters wrong and end with a solid record.”
The Colts eventually ended their regular season placing sixth in the league with a solid 5-5 record. The Colts were led by upcoming grade 11 star, Philip Gundic who averaged a team and league high 26.6 points and leading the Colts in three other categories( FT made, FT %, Asst). To top off his stellar season, Philip Gundic was awarded 2nd team all star of the league.
The Richmond Colts ran in trouble in the first round, playing an impressive 7-3 McNair team. The Colts came up short in the regular season against McNair and they look to seek vengeance and prove the doubters wrong. The Colts looked strong starting off the game. It seemed the game was in the Colts grasp, trailing by less than ten points going into the half. A late game push and poor shooting from the Colts all contributed to a disappointing loss for the Colts, losing 93-55. The Colts would eventually lose the remainder of the games, failing to make it into the Lower Mainland tournament.
In the beginning of the season, coach Mark Twyford explained their goals of the season; to win the Richmond Banner and to grow as individuals. Although the Colts did not make it to the finals, the growth of the players were evident. “This is all a learning experience. Having already won three banners in the past, we have high expectations for every year. Although we didn’t make it to the finals this year, we will learn from this year and hopefully make it into the finals next year,” grade 11, Lyon Laddaran explained. Next year’s Senior Basketball team of Richmond High will look extremely strong as both the grade 10’s and grade 11’s have seen success before, winning Richmond and VnD banners in the past.