LANGLEY — Brentwood College proved it is among the most dominant B.C. boys Double A basketball program in provincial history, yet given the emotion Vancouver’s King George Dragons brought to Saturday’s B.C. championship final at the Langley Events Centre, it made you wonder if there was finally a moment in which the Vancouver Island team from Mill Bay would be thrown off their game.
King George head coach Darko Kulic led his team in cheers and was a non-stop source of encouragement, and the team’s bench followed his lead.
Yet with all due respect to the Dragons’ skill, heart and guts, the only school in B.C. without a nickname proved that no moment was too big.
Hitting shots often and early, Brentwood ran out to a lead of as many as 16 points in the first quarter, later pushing it out to 33 points en route to a 97-59 win and repeat title.
“They play with a ton of emotion and that is what makes them go,” said Brentwood College head coach Blake Gage. “But I think we do as well. Maybe not quite as noisy from the coaching ranks, bit I have a ton of respect for what Darko does. They bring it every single night but unfortunately for them today, they didn’t shoot the ball very well and you need to do that in big games.”
Kulic encouraged, cajoled and inspired his players for the entire 40 minutes, but with MVP Brendan Sullivan leading the way with a game-high 25 point outing, Brentwood built its lead to as many as 39 points late in the fourth quarter.
The victory capped a season in which Brentwood College went 29-3 overall with with wins over 4A finalists Burnaby South and Semiahmoo, as well as 4A tourney qualifiers Lord Tweedsmuir, Oak Bay, Belmont and Walnut Grove. It’s three losses came to Walnut Grove, Semiahmoo and Tamanawis.
“It was a confidence boost to beat them (Oak Bay),” said Gage. “I still feel like Oak Bay is the best team in the province.”
Gage is also happy that Brentwood’s two-year reign as brought attention to the quality of teams competing at the tier.
“Part of me wishes we would all to play in our tier regardless, all the time,” Gage said. “I love 2A. And 2A on Vancouver Island is particularly strong. It has helped us to know that we would be challenged all year. But for us, it’s now back to the drawing board with our Grade 9s.”
Forward Somto Dimonachie added 18 points and 12 rebounds in the win, Bruno Chan 13 points and 11 rebounds and Casper Poelen 10 points.
Forward Boris Obradovic’s 16 points led the Dragons who were taken out of their three-point shooting game by Brentwood, going 4-for-22 collectively on the game.
Seyoung Choi added 13 points, and Raz Gugasyan 10.
Brentwood College out-rebounded King George by a decisive 46-25 margin.
Gage felt that Brentwood College’s boarding school atmosphere has promoted togetherness and help the team develop a special bond.
“I think that living together makes a difference,” he said. “They eat breakfast together, they go to morning shoot-around together. It’s a special thing to be a part of as a coach and I feel like I am just privileged to be going along for the ride.”
On Saturday it was special enough for them to repeat as champions.
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