Okanagan Mission's Brandon Nemes helped lead his No. 5-seeded Huskies to an opening round B.C. junior championship win over the R.E. Mountain Eagles of Langley on Saturday at the LEC. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of VarsityLetters.ca 2019. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Boys Basketball

B.C. Junior Boys Basketball: How Day 1’s first session cut a swath through the 32-team provincial field

LANGLEY — The opening day of the B.C. junior boys basketball championships is a beast.

Two separate championship-round programs of sudden-elimination draws will pare this 32-team fest into a streamlined Elite 8 for Sunday.

Our first report fast-breaks through the opening-round, 16-game segment staged this morning and early afternoon on four separate courts at the LEC. It all leads to this evening’s eight-game quarterfinal session (full schedule below).

On the top half of the draw:

Sir Winston Churchill’s Oliver Seto feels the defensive pressure of the Brookswood Bobcats in B.C. JV opening round action Saturday from the LEC. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of VarsityLetters.ca 2019. All Rights Reserved

Quadrant A

No. 1 Burnaby South was fully in control throughout, yet the unknown Kootenays rep, the Jaffray Rebels, were as good a No. 32 seed as the tourney has seen, led by their outstanding guard Asher Hanneman.

The Rebels kept their perfect season in tact with an 84-60 win.

Burnaby South will face Surrey’s No. 16-seeded Panorama Ridge in a 4 p.m. Sweet 16 game after the Thunder topped Prince George’s No. 17 College Heights Cougars 62-44.

On the other side of the quadrant, Vancouver’s No. 8 Sir Winston Churchill Bulldogs got a real push from Langley’s No. 25 Brookswood Bobcats, hanging on to reach the Sweet 16 following a 69-63 win.

The Bulldogs will tip-off against Victoria’s Claremont Spartans in a 7 p.m. contest after the Spartans topped No. 24 Duchess Park Condors of Prince George 63-44.

St. Patrick’s Kyle Santana Juana (centre) draws the defensive attention of Belmont’s Malachi Bryden (left) and Ethan Loo on Saturday in opening round B.C. JV championship play at the LEC. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of VarsityLetters.ca 2019. All Rights Reserved

Quadrant B

Vancouver’s St. Patrick’s Celtics, seeded No. 4 in the draw, put on a great display ball movement, knocking down shots throughout en route to s 69-30 win over Victoria’s No. 29-seeded Belmont Bulldogs, a Final Four finalist a season ago.

The Celtics will face Richmond’s No. 13-seed A.R. MacNeill Ravens in a 7 p.m. Sweet 16 contest.

The Ravens edged Port Moody’s No. 20-seed Heritage Woods Kodiaks.

On the other side of the quad:

No. 5 Okanagan Mission will face Abbotsford’s No. 12 MEI in the other Sweet 16 clash. Kelowna’s Huskies opened the day with a 54-35 win over Langley’s No. 28  R.E. Mountain Eagles, while Abby’s Eagles beat Vancouver’s No. 21 Eric Hamber Griffins 63-53.

On the bottom half of the draw:

Walnut Grove’s Kevin Kao (left) drives past Magee’s Harvie Dorado during B.C. JV championship opening-round play Saturday in Langley. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of VarsityLetters.ca 2019. All Rights Reserved)

Quadrant C

The No. 2 seed Vancouver College Fighting Irish, a Final Four team here one season ago, will face the No. 18 Terry Fox Ravens of Port Coquitlam in an 8:30 p.m. battle tonight.

While the Irish rolled past Chilliwack’s No. 31 seeded G.,W. Graham Grizzlies 81-34, the Ravens battled tooth and claw to get by Victoria’s No. 15 St. Michaels University School Blue Jags 65-56.

In the other Sweet 16 clash, two programs known for their senior Quad A excellence — the No. 7 Walnut Grove Gators of Langley and the No 10 Kelowna Owls — tip-off in a 5:30 p.m. show of their future stars.

Walnut Grove beat Vancouver’s No. 26 seed Magee Lions 68-57, while Kelowna built a big early lead with its aggressive pressure schemes to beat No. 23 seed and 2018 tourney runners-up Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers of Surrey 62-49. 

St. Thomas Aquinas guard Henry Cromack is book-ended by Yale Lions’ Harmaan Bola (left) and Jarek Obregon on Saturday at the LEC. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of VarsityLetters.ca 2019. All Rights Reserved)

Quadrant D

The Fraser Valley champion Yale Lions of Abbotsford, the No. 3 seeds, topped a tough No. 30-seed St. Thomas Aquinas Fighting Saints squad out of North Vancouver 44-32.

The Lions will face Salmon Arm’s J.L. Jackson Golds of Salmon Arm in an 8:30 p.m. clash tonight. The Golds were a convincing 63-34 winner over Prince Rupert’s Charles Hays Rainmakers.

In the other Sweet 16 clash, it’s the No. 11-seeded, defending B.C. champion St. George’s Saints of Vancouver tipping off at 5:30 p.m. against Richmond’s No. 6-seed R.A. McMath Wildcats.

St. George’s opened defence of its title with a 64-15 win over No. 22-seed Ladysmith 49ers, while McMath dumped Kamloops’ No. 27-seeded Sa-Hali Sabres 66-48.



(all games at Langley Events Centre)



4 p.m. — Burnaby South vs. Panorama Ridge

7 p.m. — Sir Winston Churchill vs. Claremont


4 p.m. — Okanagan Mission vs. MEI

7 p.m. — St. Patrick’s vs. A.R. MacNeill 



5:30 p.m. — Walnut Grove vs. Kelowna

8:30 p.m. — Vancouver College vs. Terry Fox


5:30 p.m. — R.A. McMath vs. St. George’s

8:30 p.m. — Yale vs. J.L. Jackson

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