LANGLEY — They have held B.C.’s No. 1 ranking at its highest tier for three straight weeks and counting, and now that they are B.C. tournament bound, no one is easing up on the throttle where the Terry Fox Ravens (26-4) are concerned.
Despite their target, however, PoCo’s finest continued to respect their process, booking a place in Sunday’s Fraser Valley Quad-A championship final are at the LEC following an 89-57 win in the first of two conference semifinals staged Thursday at the Langley Events Centre.
“All season our approach has been that we have to worry about us and so we prepare for who we are playing, which today was a very good W.J. Mouat team, but in the end, we know our success comes down to us doing what we have to do,” said Ravens’ coach Mark Prinster.
Yes, gutsy senior Jacob Mand was returning from an injury, and key senior guard Jaden de Leon was out with one of his own.
Despite all of that, and playing against a No. 8-ranked Hawks’ team playing its best basketball of the season, Terry Fox stuck to its identity, igniting its high-tempo ways by virtue of great team defence.
“We have preached that everything starts with our defence,” said Prinster, who saw four starters hit double figures, led by the 18 of point guard Ko Takahashi. “Everyone talks about our great running game, but everything starts with the way we defend.”
Mand was critical, especially in the second quarter, when his play sparked a plus-17 point second quarter that gave the Ravens’ a 50-28 halftime lead.
Post Grady Stanyer, a worker on the boards, also scored 17 points for the winners. Grade 10 guard Cam Slaymaker added 14.
The Hawks were led by the 18 points of Jeevan Uppal. Gershaun Sarowa added 14 while Manvir Johal scored 13.
The Ravens were set to face the winner of Thursday’s second final between Lord Tweedsmuir and Holy Cross in Sunday’s 8 p.m. final.
The Hawks were set to face the loser of that game at 6 p.m. for third and fourth.
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