LANGLEY — Has the uniqueness of Friday’s marquee match-up struck you just yet?
Yes, that one!
On Friday, the Tsumura Basketball Invitational’s second set of morning quarterfinals at 10:30 a.m. includes one drenched in plotlines.
No. 1 Burnaby South vs. No. 8 Oak Bay.
Last March, in the quarterfinals of the B.C. senior boys AAAA championships, it was No. 1 Oak Bay vs. No. 8 Burnaby South, and on that occasion, the Rebels truly got their Cinderella run to the title underway with a 78-68 victory.
Here’s some of what I wrote at VarsityLetters.ca last March about that game:
Burnaby South held the Bays to just five points in the first quarter and just 22 at the break, and although Oak Bay rallied behind shooter Diego Maffia to take a second-half lead, the Rebels showed their pluck in coming back to outscore the Bays 30-15 in the fourth quarter.
Jusuf Sehic led the winners with 17 points and 17 rebounds. Noah Pastrana added 14 points, Stefano Benedetto 13 and Jiordano Khan 11.
Maffia scored a game-high 43 in the loss going 10-of-25 from distance, including four over the final minute of play.
Quote, unquote… you will notice that South’s top three scorers in that game have since graduated, yet they remain a tower of power.
You’ll also note that Maffia scored 43 points that day.
He’s scored like, a hundred over the past two days combined, so why would Friday be any different?
Anyways, take this as a sign from the basketball gods that we could be in for an interesting day.
Had to pass along these thought from Burnaby South’s Grade 11 forward Sasha Vujisic, who really has a grasp on things when I asked him about contrasting last season’s underdog ways with this season’s ‘now the hunted’ vibe.
Q: What have you thought of the fact that you’re suddenly the team to beat?
A: Put it this way, right now in the season, we have the targets on our back and we’re not doing a good job of dodging the shots. But we’re still standing.”
Q: How would you describe that contrast?
A: Last year we got to lurk in the dark and take the spotlight. Now we are in the spotlight. Last year we were the ones with the sword. This year we’re the ones with the shield. But we’re not perfect. If we were, we wouldn’t get any better.
Said Byrne Creek head coach Bal Dhillon to yours truly after his team’s win over Sir Charles Tupper tonight, squinting to read his Friday quarterfinal game time: “Is that an 8:45 a.m. start?”
My reply: “Yeah coach, sorry.”
His reply: “That’s OK. It’s better than 8:15.”
Yes, it’s early. But it’s also a hazard with a three-day 16-team tournament. We thank our coaches for understanding.
8:45 a.m. — Terry Fox vs. Byrne Creek, Kelowna vs. Holy Cross
10:30 a.m. — Burnaby South vs. Oak Bay, North Delta vs. Lord Tweedsmuir.
The semifinals go at 6, 7:45 p.m.
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