LANGLEY — The favourites and the survivors.
Mill’s Bay’s No. 1 tournament seed, Brentwood College, along with Victoria’s St. Michael’s University School Blue Jags, meet today (3:45 p.m.) at the Langley Events Centre in the Telus 2017 B.C. senior boys basketball championship final.
Just 15 days ago, the same pair met during the Vancouver Island championships, with Brentwood College coming away 67-37 winners.
Here’s a look at their contrasting victories during Friday’s Final Four.
BRENTWOOD COLLEGE 85 G.W. GRAHAM 63
LANGLEY — A pronounced victory on the glass equaled a resounding victory over Chilliwack’s Grizzlies.
Brentwood College’s plus-12 and plus-13 offence in the second- and fourth-quarters respectively helped pave the way to a 22-point win, and it was a cushion enhanced by some crazy domination in and around G.W. Graham’s basket.
Brentwood collected 22 offensive rebounds on the same glass that the Grizz managed 22 defensive ones.
Olamide Olatunbosun grabbed six of those offensive rebounds, while Casper Poelen and Bruno Chan nabbed four each.
The Mill Bay crew, which led 50-35 at halftime and 64-55 heading into the fourth, then amped up their defensive efforts over the final 10 minutes, holding the Grizzlies to just eight points.
Brendan Sullivan led the way with 26 points, Aaron Shulga scord 17 and Jonathan MacDonald 12.
Gabe Mannes had to work for his team-high 25 points, as the G.W. Graham standout guard shot 9-of-25 for 26 points.
Jon Steele added 12 and Curtis Kmyta 12.
It was G.W. Graham’s second straight appearance in the Final Four. Last season, they were upset by SMUS.
ST. MICHAELS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL 59 KING GEORGE 55
LANGLEY — Victoria’s Blue Jags built what looked to be a safe lead just past the midway mark of its meeting with the Lower Mainland champion Dragons of Vancouver.
Then, they hunkered down and managed to ride out a late storm, it’s four-point win giving them a fourth straight trip to the provincial final.
“That was a gutsy one tonight,” said SMUS head coach Ia Hyde-Lay, whose team led by 19 points just under two minutes into the second half.
“We started poorly, we closed the first quarter well, had a bit of a fortunate second quarter where we made some long shots, and then in the second and third I thought we defended well.
“They are a class team with tough players and you knew a comeback was on the way. We just started clock-watching and not playing.”
Still, the Blue Jags, champs in 2015, did enough.
Dragons’ scoring ace Yoel Teclehaimanot scored a game-high 19 points (with 18 rebounds), but had to take 34 shots to get there.
Three-point ace Kyle Guerrero hit four triples and finished with 18 points.
The SMUS collective had just enough to give.
Jamison Schulz-Francisco led the way with 17 points, Ryan Hindson scored 15 and Jasper Bosley added 11.
“It’s been a bit of an up-and-down season, and maybe we’re coming back at the right time,” Hyde-Lay said.
He added the team will tweak it’s pre-title game schedule.
“We have to get rested,” added Hyde-Lay, who 25 years ago this weekend coached Steve Nash and SMUS past Pitt Meadows for the 1992 BC title. “Last year, I thought not only were (eventual champ) Collingwood significantly better than us, but we just had a poor night’s preparation, in sleep and food. We had no gas in the game.”
If you’re reading this story or viewing these photographs on any other website other than one belonging to a university athletic department, they have been taken without appropriate permission. In these challenging times, true journalism will survive only through your dedicated support and loyalty. Varsityletters.ca and all of its exclusive content has been created to serve B.C.’s high school and university sports community with hard work, integrity and respect. Feel free to drop us a line any time at email@example.com.