Fifty years ago today, on March 27, 1971, a pioneering double-double took place on the hardcourt at the Pacific Coliseum when the North Delta Huskies became the first boys basketball program in B.C. history to win both the junior and senior provincial crowns in the same season.
The sweep was completed when the Huskies defeated the Vancouver College Fighting Irish 43-38 to win the school’s first B.C. senior boys basketball title.
The little known fact of that season, is that a week prior, in what was just the second-annual B.C. junior boys basketball championship, the JV Dawgs defeated Prince George’s now-defunct Lakewood Lakers 57-51 in the title game played at the also now-defunct North Vancouver Secondary School.
According to records, the same school has pulled the double-double just once over the past half-century, that taking place in 1998 when the Richmond Colts claimed both titles.
That season, the Colts junior team was powered by its compact, stand-out guard Karlo Villanueva, who led the team to victory over Port Coquitlam’s George Pearkes Thunderbirds, then later suited up to help the senior Colts beat Vancouver College 76-66 in the senior top-tiered final.
Thirty years ago, the 1991 R.C. Palmer Griffins, at the time a primary junior feeder of the Colts, also won the B.C. junior title in the same season Richmond High took the senior crown.
The history books have largely forgotten North Delta’s double-double, however, and it bears mentioning that on its half-century anniversary much credit must go to the effort of the 1971 junior Huskies.
Most specifically, North Delta’s 15-year-old guard Dan Chapman.
Named a second-team B.C. senior all-star in his senior year of 1972-73, Chapman was a force two years prior on the Huskies’ junior team.
In North Delta’s title win over Lakewood, Chapman scored 17 of his game-high 20 points in the first half, all of this coming on the heels of a magnificent 33-point outing the day before in his team’s 56-54 overtime win over Victoria’s Colquitz Warriors.
Forward Allen Staples added 14 for the JV Dawgs, while Gary Lawrence led Lakewood with 19 points.
North Delta basketball historian and two-time Huskies’ B.C. first-team all-star John Buis reminds that 1970-71 was a very special year for North Delta athletics overall.
In the fall of that year, the Huskies’ senior boys soccer team placed second at the first-ever B.C. High School Boys Soccer Championships.
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