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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
B.C. JUNIOR BOYS
(all games at Langley Events Centre)
TOP SIDE DRAW
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
BOTTOM SIDE DRAW
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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