OK, so maybe the Osoyoos Rattlers are taking this “heat” thing just a little too far.
Their home community is noted for its soaring temperatures; now the OSS Rattlers are adding another century-mark to the mix.
They like to score. A lot.
The 1A Rattler Men have averaged 115 points over the first four games of the season — winning an early-season tournament over the weekend and knocking off the reigning 1A provincial champion in the process.
“I had a guy from BC Basketball tell me I’m supposed to record high school basketball scores, not NBA scores,” said head coach Casey Brouwer. “I don’t know of any other school — at least 1A — that in the first four games of the season averaged over 115 points a game.”
Not surprisingly, the Rattlers are 4-0, scoring a 137-76 win in Princeton to open the season last Wednesday and following it up with three convincing wins in Grand Forks.
They went into that tournament as the Number 4 team — meaning they were slated as an easy opening win for host Grand Forks to get the weekend rolling properly.
The Rattlers took that game 113-105, the team’s star shooting guard Navraj Brar scoring 62 points, including hitting 11 three-pointers.
“The kid was just unbelievable,” said Brouwer of that performance.
Osoyoos followed that up with a 109-83 win over Kelowna Heritage Christian, the reigning 1A provincial champion, and wrapped up play Saturday with a 103-79 dismantling of Nakusp.
“I told the guys, whether we like it or not, we’ve made a statement,” said Brouwer of the opening week’s play. “Other teams will see those scores and they will be gunning for us now, so we need to work hard and keep that going.
“But we want that challenge.”
The Rattlers will get a better sense of where they stand provincially this weekend when they travel to Kelowna Thursday for a tournament hosted by Kelowna Christian, the province’s top-seeded 1A team.
The Rattlers open against the 2A Princess Margaret Mustangs of Penticton in a 3:45 contest Thursday afternoon. A win would put them into a semi-final match Friday at 1 p.m., likely against host Kelowna Christian.
Brouwer says his team expects to continue its high-tempo play.
“We keep the high-tempo because I’ve got a deep bench, he explains. “As soon as guys are getting tired, I put in two fresh guys or three fresh guys and we can keep that intensity at that level.
“We’re always looking for that fast-break; we’re always looking to attack.”
This year’s Rattlers include four returning players — Brar, Kolby Wikene, Marko Cheng and Javendeep Dhaliwal — and 11 others who graduated from the junior team.
“They have a different mindset and they are conditioned better,” said Brouwer of his team. “These guys can run and that’s our main focus. They have the energy and athleticism to play a full high-tempo game.”
If you’re wanting to watch the team in action before Christmas, you’ll have to travel. The team doesn’t play at home until January 9, when it hosts Similkameen Secondary.
That will coincide with the installation of a new $20,000 scoreboard, paid for with funds donated through the local indo-Canadian community.
“They’ll probably install it over Christmas break and it will be ready for the next part of our season,” said Brouwer.