LANGLEY — Welcome to our coverage of the B.C. senior boys Triple A basketball championships. We’ve wrapped our coverage for the day.
Before we get to the game reports, here’s a look at tomorrow championship draw bracket:
TOP HALF DRAW
6:30 p.m. — Sir Charles Tupper vs. North Delta
8:15 p.m. — Duchess Park vs. G.W. Graham
BOTTOM HALF DRAW
3 p.m. — Argyle vs. A.R. MacNeill
4:45 p.m. — Vernon vs. Rick Hansen
No. 9 NORTH DELTA 74 No. 8 BYRNE CREEEK 48
LANGLEY — Suraj Gahir’s injured ankle is still not 100 per cent, yet his will to lead has never had to be discussed in terms of fractions.
And although he was impressive enough on the stat sheet with 11 points and 16 rebounds in North Delta’s 74-48 opening-round win over Burnaby’s Byrne Creek Bulldogs, it’s been his selflessness to the team cause which has kept everyone invested and ready to challenge for the grand prize.
“I am not healthy yet, (centre) Vik (Hayer’s) not, you’ve seen his (knee) brace, but it’s been about all of these other guys stepping up,” Gahir said.
On Wednesday, the Huskies jumped out to a 21-11 first-half lead, and it was behind a collective team effort from players like Arun Atker (23 points), Bhavraj Thiara (13), Jag Johal (11) and Hayer (10).
“And I have to shout out to Ryan Cabico,” Gahir said of the team’s compact guard who only scored two points, yet provides so much of the team’s defensive conscience.
Huskies’ head coach Jesse Hundal said it was important to set the early tone.
“We said the first five minutes were going to be the key to this game,” said Hundal. “We said it was going to be about heart.”
Bithow Wan led the Bulldogs with 22 points.
Now, the Huskies draw No. 1 Sir Charles Tupper in a 6:30 p.m. quarterfinal on Thursday.
An Elite 8 is earlier than you would have expected the two teams to meet yet Hundal knows that any path towards a potential championship would had to have gone through the Tigers at some stage of the post-season.
“There is no pressure on us,” said Hundal. “I know there are teams that counted us out because of our injuries, but we’ve got nothing to lose. We’re just going to go out and fight. That’s all you can do. And when you have a fighting chance, you have chance.”
No. 5 G.W. GRAHAM 85 No. 12 STEVESTON-LONDON 59
LANGLEY — Geevon Janday led four scorers in double figures with 18 points while also pulling down 14 rebounds, both game highs, as Chilliwack’s fifth-seeded Grizzlies led wire-to-wire in a comfortable victory over Richmond’s Steveston London Sharks.
The victory pushes the Grizz into a much-anticipated quarterfinal against Prince George’s No. 4 seed Duchess Park Condors on Thursday (8:15 p.m.).
Jude Hall and Zachary Klim each added 17 points for the winners while Anmol Shoker added 11 points.
Jhonelle Vergara led the Sharks with 11 points while Kouki Kawano had nine, and Vincent Zheng and Aidan Cox eight apiece.
No. 7 RICK HANSEN 86 No. 10 G.P. VANIER 71
LANGLEY — Gurkaran Mangat and Guautam Dhaliwal each found their rhythm, both breaking 20 points, and when that happens, it’s usually a very good sign for Abbotsford’s Rick Hansen Hurricanes.
The No. 7 seeds used strong first and third quarters to topple Courtenay’s G.P. Vanier Towhees, setting up a tough quarterfinal Thursday (4:45 p.m.) against the No. 2 seed Vernon Panthers.
Dhaliwal scored 21 points, while Mangat had 23 and 14 rebounds for the ‘Canes.
Harjot Dhaliwal scored 16 points and Monty Gill 13 along with 10 rebounds.
Peter Greaves scored a game-high 25 points for Vanier, who trailed 27-16 after the first quarter and were never able to own a lead.
No. 1 SIR CHARLES TUPPER 73 No. 16 MARK ISFELD 58
LANGLEY — Gaurab Acharya’s buzzer-beating three-pointer to end the third quarter seemed to signal that B.C.’s No. 1-ranked team had awoken from its slumber.
Sir Charles Tupper had to work hard to find their breakthrough against the well-schemed ways of Courtenay’s Mark Isfeld Ice, yet once they got on a roll, it was very apparent why the East Vancouver team is the favourite to win its first B.C. senior boys title.
The Ice had actually crawled back to lead by a point 3:18 into the third quarter, but as a testament to the explosivness of the Tigers, Tupper gained some very quick separation and on the heels of Acharya’s hoop pushed their margin to as high as 22 points in the fourth.
“I think it all came from the defensive end when we started to press a little harder,” said Tupper head coach Jeff Gourley, whose team will face either Byrne Creek or North Delta in Thursday’s quarterfinals.
“Our guys had been through so much this week, from debuting their pink jersies to all the attention they are receiving at school, the list just goes on and on. I think they were tired. Bottom line. And they’re playing a team they’re not familiar with, and it didn’t seem to matter how much we told them how well-coached (Mark Isfeld) was going to be (under Tom Elwood), I am sure they were going ‘OK, we’re No. 1 and they are No. 16.’”
Simon Crossfield led four Tigers in double figures with 20 points, Acharya added 14, while Mitchell Morgan and Matt Dunkerley had 10 each.
Aidan McDonald scored 19 points for the Ice, who also got 13 from Temwa Mtawli and 12 from Thaskani Mtawali.
Gourley said he hoped that key scoring guard Norben Bulosan would be recovered enough from an ankle injury to play Thursday.
No. 2 VERNON 83 No. 15 REYNOLDS 15
LANGLEY — Kevin Morgan couldn’t have had a better start to his 2019 B.C. tournament.
Vernon’s 6-foot-3 power forward put up game highs in points (24) and rebounds (12) as he and the No. 2-seeded Panthers opened what they hope is a deep tourney run with an 83-44 win over Victoria’s Reynolds Roadrunners.
Vernon held Reynolds to just seven first-quatrter points and led 40-17 at the break.
Isaiah Ondrik followed closely behind with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Zack Smith (11 points) and Laim Reid (10) also reached double-figures on offence.
The Panthers are slated to meet the winner of this evening’s game between No. 7 Rick Hasen and No. 7 Vernon.
Takeshi Croke and Ephrem Woldu each scored 15 points in the loss for the Raodrunners.
No. 14 ARGYLE 85 No. 3 PITT MEADOWS 69
LANGLEY — In a war of attrition, North Vancouver’s Argyle Pipers have got next.
Underdogs by seed but confident in their cause, the Pipers identified their hurdles, attacked them head on, and in the end wound up stunning the Pitt Meadows Marauders.
Trailing by 13 points midway through the third quarter, the Pipers remained steadfast in their belief that a breakthrough would come through efforts. Eventually the dam burst.
“I honestly think that part of it was (Pitt Meadows’) fatigue,” said Argyle head coach Mike Finch. “Their bigs are two big boys and they have two excellent guards on the outside. It was about putting as much pressure on those four points as possible.”
The Marauders got into foul trouble, and that opened things up inside, and with Pipers’ senior guard Gerial Larosa knocking down six treys and scoring a game-high 28 points, the Pipers were on their way.
David Finch and Axel Whal each had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the winners while Boris Zaviryukha added 14.
Cole Leon’s 25 led Pitt, who also got 19 from Ryan Tougas and 13 from Iman Ostovari.
Argyle faces A.R. MacNeill in a quarterfinal matchup Thursday at 3 p.m.
No. 4 DUCHESS PARK 72 No. 13 CALEDONIA 49
LANGLEY — There’s a benefit to having two weapons as deadly as Soren Erricson and Dan Zimmerman.
Tending to the dynamic duo of Prince George’s Duchess Park Condors very often leaves a shooter open, and on Wednesday, Caleb Lyons was ready for his moment.
The 6-foot-3 Grade 10 hit four treys and scored a game-high 25 points as the Condors moved into the Elite 8 with a comfortable win over Terrace’s Caledonia Kermodes.
“He got a bunch of naked looks and when you have players like Soren and Dan, those guys are keyed on, so he’s fortunate enough to be overlooked,” said Condors’ head coach Jordan Yu, who also happens to be Lyons’ uncle. “He is one of our best shooters. He is dead-eye, and he’s a long kid who can go inside.”
The Condors got off to a slow start in the early-morning game, but used a hot second quarter to take a 42-27 lead into the half.
Zimnmerman scored 11 points and Connor Lewis 10 for the winners. Jackson Netzel was 9-of-20 from the field to score 21 points for the Kermodes.
No. 6 A.R. MCNEILL 77 NO. 11 ROBERT BATEMAN 67
LANGLEY — The first timers are having fun!
Richmond’s A.R. MacNeill Ravens were new to the pressures of the B.C. senior varsity championships, yet nothing about their performance Wednesday in a win over Abbotsford’s Robert Bateman Timberwolves suggested jitters.
Especially the way they made their fourth quarter the strongest of their game.
The Ravens, led by the a quartet of double-digit scorers, built their biggest lead of the game at 12 points with 2:41 remaining over a game in which they relied on scoring the ball in the paint.
Hudson Swaim’s 17 points led the way, while Jackson Thackwray and Usman Tung added 16 each. Omar Abumalouh scored 12 while Everett Swaim had 11 rebounds.
Isaiah Peters scored a game-high 22 points in the loss for Bateman, while Darsh Brad added 15 and Sam Davenport 13.
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