LANGLEY — Thanks for re-joining us for our on-going coverage of the B.C. senior boys basketball championships from the Langley Events Centre.
Today, it’s quarterfinal Thursday at all four tiers.
Please continue to come back to us on this posting throughout the day as our team of writers and photographers give you the most complete coverage you will find anywhere.
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Here’s our game-by-game reports:
Story by BRAD ZIEMER (Special for Varsity Letters)
LAMBRICK PARK 86 WINDSOR 57
LANGLEY — They certainly didn’t get the start they wanted, but the Lambrick Park Lions showed plenty of finish as they beat the Windsor Dukes 86-57 in the quarter-finals of the B.C. senior boys Double-A championship at the Langley Events Centre south court on Thursday.
The Lions will play the winner of Thursday’s night’s game between Pacific Academy and Brentwood College in Friday’s semi-finals.
The Dukes came out hoisting three-pointers and made five quick ones to build an early 15-2 lead. But Lambrick Park answered with a run of its own. The Lions responded with 15 unanswered points and the game was tied 17-17 after one quarter.
The Lions led 34-31 after the first half. Grade 12 guard Aubrey Dorey-Havens kept Windsor in the game, scoring scored 19 of the Dukes’ 31 first-half points. Windsor did not score a two-point basket in the first half. The Dukes drained eight three-pointers and added seven free throws.
“I think their coach had the best pre-game speech ever, ‘Go out and hit five straight threes,” said Lambrick Park coach Ed Somers. “They came out hot and everything was falling. So it was great momentum. We knew right away this team had offence.”
But Lambrick Park, the tournament’s No. 2 seed, had plenty of offence of its own. The Lions took control of a tight game in the third quarter. They went on a 17-2 run to start the second half to go up by 18 points. Guard Aiden Grew keyed that run with a couple of early three-pointers. Lambrick Park led 62-47 after three quarters.
“We wanted to continue to push the tempo,” Somers said of the second half. “We we able to play some more aggressive defence and get some turnovers. We were able to sub a little more than they were and we thought fatigue might set in.”
Grew, a 5-foot-10 Grade 12 guard, pushed that tempo in the second half . He finished the game with a team-high 21 points and his defence helped slow down Dorey-Havens in the second half.
“Aiden was amazing,” Somers said. “He played very well, especially in the second half. You can see that his roots are in soccer and cross-country. So we just said, go. Getting those threes and tough layups were key for us.”
Forward Owen Jones added 21 points for the Lions.
Grew said the team didn’t panic after Windsor grabbed that early lead with a flurry of three-pointers.
“We were upset we were down early, but we managed to fight back and that really motivated us and we got right back in it,” Grew said.
Dorey-Havens finished with a game-high 34 points for Windsor.
BRENTWOOD COLLEGE 72 PACIFIC ACADEMY 48
LANGLEY — Brentwood College broke open a tight game with an 11-0 run to start the second half and defeated the Pacific Academy Breakers 72-48 in the quarter-finals of the B.C. senior boys Double-A championship at the Langley Events Centre south court on Thursday.
Brentwood College (Mill Bay) will meet Vancouver Island rivals Lambrick Park Lions of Victoria in Friday’s semi-finals.
Brentwood College, the No. 3 seed, spread its scoring around in the first half. No one scored more than six points and BC took a 32-26 lead into the break.
That 11-0 run to start the third run put Brentwood College in complete control of the game. They led 51-31 after three quarters and cruised to the win.
“The biggest thing is I thought is defensively we were pretty solid,” said Brentwood College coach Blake Gage. “I sort of knew that at some point we were going to score the ball and figure things out, but we needed to continue to do the job at the defensive end. I knew if we did that we’d give ourselves a pretty good chance.”
Swingman Buchannon Fritz paced Brentwood with 17 points and was named player of the game. Guard Dylan Gage chipped in 15 points.
“This was definitely a team win,” said Fritz. “Everyone contributed. Everyone who came off the bench gave us great energy. When we were struggling in the first half we were getting shots, we were playing hard, but we weren’t playing controlled.
“Once we were able to get that energy off the bench and are able to control ourselves, that’s when we shine. We get in transition, we get layups, we get fast buckets. When we get selfish and try to do everything ourselves, that’s when we break down. When we play as a team we are pretty much unstoppable.”
Coach Gage liked his team’s balanced scoring. Nine different players scored points for Brentwood.
“When we’re at out best, that’s what we do,” he said. “We have got a lot of guys who can score it and when we are playing well and sharing the ball, we are tough.”
The Breakers were unable to get much going under the basket and relied heavily on three-point attempts. They didn’t make many of them and their misses led to fast breaks going the other way from Brentwood College.
Guard Jaden Mesfin scored 17 points for Pacific Academy.
The win sets up a rematch of the Vancouver Island final. Fritz said he can’t wait.
“We are extremely motivated,” he said. “We were able to beat them earlier in the season by five and then they come into our house on senior night and beat us. That was tough.”
Fritz missed that game with a hamstring injury.
“So to have the opportunity play them here and knock them out is big,” he said. “We all want revenge.”
Story by AARON MARTIN (Special for Varsity Letters)
WEST POINT GREY ACADEMY 45 KING GEORGE 40
LANGLEY – Apparently, the greatest dragon-slayers in the land aren’t knights or wizards.
On Thursday night in the quarterfinals of the B.C. senior boys Double-A championship, the No. 9 seed West Point Grey Academy Wolves rocked the tournament bracket, as they downed the top-seeded King George Dragons 45-40 to advance to the semifinals.
Down 38-36 with just over four minutes remaining, the Wolves made shots count in the clutch. After Grade 11 guard Spencer Neil took a fast break in for a nifty layup, the next Wolves possession saw Mac Steenburgh get a board and bucket in the paint. After yet another defensive stand, senior guard Kai Tukker drove in the dagger with a three-point game-winning snipe.
A deep two from guard Max Astak brought the Dragons within three with a minute to go, but that’s as close as they would come. With 17 seconds left, a would-be game-tying three ball from guard Jose Vuluaga bounced off the rim and into Neil’s hands.
Neil, who wound up with Player of the Game honours, took advantage of a couple desperation fouls late, sealing the game for underdog Wolves.
“It was unbelievable,” said West Point Grey head coach John Garinger. “The guys played their hearts out and I couldn’t be prouder of them. “We have so much respect for [head coach] Darko [Kulic] and King George. They’re unbelievable competitors and I’m really proud of these boys.”
West Point Grey Academy played an excellent opening 10 minutes, as their intense brand of physicality and defense hampered the high-scoring Dragons early on. On the back of that defense and a few deep looks from centre Sam Anthony and Tukker, Wolves took a 13-10 lead into the break.
The Dragons’ 6-foot-6 center Adam Spano notched two early free throws coming out of the break, then on the next two trips down the court, Zuluaga notched an offensive board and putback layup, then a deep three as part of a quick 7-0 run.
However, West Point Grey did well to respond at every turn – after a Zuluaga steal-and-slam, Anthony quickly came back with a bucket from in tight. Then, getting fouled in three-point land, WPGA guard Spencer Neil stepped to the line and drilled all three free throws.
The Wolves did an impressive job containing Astak in the first half. They held the Sea to Sky MVP, who was averaging 20.2 points a game coming into the tournament, completely scoreless over the opening 20 minutes.
“My guards were awesome,” said Garinger of the defensive effort. “My bigs, Sam especially, was excellent against the pick-and roll. I know Spencer got player of the game, but I thought Sam was a very close second.”
By halftime, the Wolves maintained a 24-21 advantage.
At the tail end of a hard-fought third stanza, a set of back-to-back Steenburgh corner triples gave West Point Grey Academy a 33-26 lead heading into the final frame.
The Dragons came out firing – Zuluaga had five points as part of a lightning-fast 10-2 run for the top-seeded Dragons, setting up that wild finish..
Overall, guard Palmer Currie led King George with 11 points, while Zuluaga added 11. Steeburgh had a game-high 14 points for West Point Grey Academy, while Tukker – 12 points – and Neil also hit double digits.
WESTSYDE 64 SOUTHRIDGE 41
LANGLEY – The Westsyde Whundas punched their ticket to the B.C. senior boys Double-A championship semifinals on Thursday night, claiming an impressive 64-41 win over the No. 5-seeded Southridge Storm.
A 20-point showing from Grade 11 guard Caleb Gremaud paced the Whundas, while his senior backcourt mate Caleb Ezedebego notched 18 points in the win. Rohan Sall did the bulk of Southiside’s offensive output, as the Storm captain posted 18 points of his own.
“Obviously I’m pleased with the outcome,” recapped Whundas head coach Chris Gremaud. “They’re a good team, battled hard. Number 15 [Sall] is a heck of a player. I was impressed with the way he finished that first half, but we buckled down and did what we had to do to get the job done.”
No. 4-seeded Westsyde made a statement with a quick start in the first quarter. On the back of some excellent early shooting, the Whundas raced out to as much as a 12-point lead in the opening frame. Grade 12 forward David Falade led the charge with six points as Westsyde took a 17-8 lead into the second .
The second stanza saw Southridge claw their way back into the contest due in large part to their captain. Sall, the reigning South Fraser MVP, started out the frame with a thunderous dunk, and then he started to make it rain. The 6-foot-4 forward was electric from beyond the arc, knocking down three triples en route to a 14-point second quarter.
The last of those threes brough Southridge all the way to back to even footing, as the two sides went into the half tied 24-24.
Up 35 32, Gremaud made his presence felt loud and clear. On back-to-back possessions, the 6-foot-5 guard first ripped off a vicious one-handed dunk, then followed it up with a wicked spinning layup from in tight. Gremaud’s artistry was part of 6-0 Westsyde lead to close out the third quarter, as they opened up a 41-32 lead.
The Whundas continued to pull away over the final 10 minutes, as Southside couldn’t get a shot to fall in the face of an aggressive Westsyde defence. The Whundas raced ahead to a 57- 34 lead before a quick 8-0 Southside run kept the game from getting out of hand.
“I think just our energy got higher,” said coach Gremaud on the difference between the second quarter and his defense’s impressive showing in the second half. “We were winning the loose balls, but overall, it was just a tight, tough game. We just hit a few shots when we needed to. We pride ourselves on defense, and we knew that 15 [Sall] would be tough to stop – and he was, but we kind held the rest of their players in check for the most part.”quarter
Westsyde will now prepare to face the No. 8-seeded West Point Grey Academy Wolves in the semis tomorrow afternoon, as the Wolves upset the top-seeded King George Dragons to earn their spot amongst the final four.
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