Skye Terbasket key to Syilx’s offense

While the focus for the Syilx boy’s basketball team is defence, it becomes crystal clear the offence is a well-oiled machine.

Skye Terbasket (above) talks to his Okanagan Syilx teammates on the bench during their first game of the Junior All Native Basketball Tournament at Penticton Secondary School Monday. Syilx won the game 71-34. The tournament wraps up with the championships Friday.

Skye Terbasket (above) talks to his Okanagan Syilx teammates on the bench during their first game of the Junior All Native Basketball Tournament at Penticton Secondary School Monday. Syilx won the game 71-34. The tournament wraps up with the championships Friday.

While the focus for the Syilx boy’s basketball team is defence, it becomes crystal clear the offence is a well-oiled machine.

And that begins with Skye Terbasket. While he scored just 12 points in the Syilx’s 71-34 dismantling of the Hesquiaht Braves, Terbasket also collected three assists and five steals. He was the key on several plays alongside Clayton Gottfriedson, who led with 20 points.

“We obviously in Skye and Clay two excellent guards so if we can get them out and running, they can really score when they are on the open court,” said Syilx coach Peter Waardenburg.

What helps Terbasket be a force is his IQ, which impresses Waardenburg since his co-captain is in Grade 10.

“He knows the offence well.  He will tell guys where to go,” said Waardenburg, following an intense performance that allowed his team to make a solid first impression in the Junior All Native Tournament, which wraps up on Friday. “It’s like having a second coach out there. I don’t have to yell and tell him because he will point things out. That’s probably his biggest asset.”

Terbasket constantly is directing the offence, even offering help from the sidelines, getting teammates to move around to pick defences apart.  One play during their trashing of the Braves, Gottfriedson intercepted a pass, found the Terbasket outside the key then a final pass to Bowe McGinnis who made the easy basket. Right before that the Syilx pulled off an impressive give-and-go.

It’s something that Waardenburg enjoys watching.

“Oh yeah, see some of those long bomb passes,” the Syilx coach said. “You don’t see that too often.”

Terbasket, who attends Similkameen Elementary Secondary School, said he enjoys directing traffic during a game and admits to having a bossy side, but said only on the court. However, it’s important for him to get his teammates involved in the play. The Syilx played with such confidence in their opening game, but Terbasket credits that to the work of the coaches with them and their preparation for the championship.

“We have gone over them quite a bit,” said Terbasket. “They are just in my head now I guess.”

Blazing the court wearing No. 30 and sporting a smaller version of a Fauxhawk, Terbasket has been looking forward to competing in the Junior All Native Tournament for a year.

“It’s one of the biggest tournaments of the year,” he said.

While the Syilx have winning in mind, they are not obsessed about it. He said being successful this year will give them more confidence for 2012.

“More here to just have fun,” he said.

For scores and matchups in the tournament, check www.pentictonwesternnews.com