PORT COQUITLAM — The No. 1-ranked Oak Bay Bays are on their way to the Legal Beagle semifinals.

Led by the 31 points of guard Diego Maffia, Victoria’s Bays built their momentum down the stretch drive of the fourth quarter to defeat Abbotsford’s W.J. Mouat Hawks 75-50 in the first of two play-in quarterfinals on Day 2 of the senior boys varsity AAAA invitational being staged for the 29th season at PoCo’s Terry Fox Secondary.

“It was a good opening win,” admitted head coach Chris Franklin after he watched Maffia, the Tsumura Basketball Invitational MVP in December, knock down seven triples on the game. “Mouat competed hard, ran well and really tested us on the glass.

“We have to respond better to that, but when you’re moving on in the draw at the Legal Beagle, that’s always a good thing.”

The Hawks, ranked No. 7 heading in, were led by the 19 points of 6-foot-8 senior forward Dhivaan Bhogal.

Oak Bay Bays’ guard Valdi Alarie-Hill (left) digs down on defence against Mouat’s Prab Sran. (Varsity Letters photo by Howard Tsumura)

The Bays, whose guard rotation includes the likes of Maffia and Caelan Scott, seemed especially effective Friday through the emergence of fellow senior Valdi Alarie-Hill who made his presence felt in the hustle department.

“Valdi brings great energy and he is always in constant motion,” said Franklin. “He is aggressive when the ball is in the air and when it’s loose, he is the first one to it.”

The Bays will face No. 5 Walnut Grove in a 6:45 p.m. semifinal after the Gators got a putback lay-in at the buzzer to beat No. 6 Kitsilano on Friday night.

The No. 4 Holy Cross Crusaders were facing No. 9 Semiahmoo on Friday in a game which tipped off at 11:45 a.m.

The winner of that game meets the host Terry Fox Ravens in an 8:30 p.m. semifinal. Terry Fox defeated Kelowna in its quarterfinal game Thursday.

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