LANGLEY — This season, the Heritage Woods Kodiaks have been a senior boys basketball team which has kept everyone guessing, including themselves and their coaching staff.
On the nights when everything clicks, whether that be for a full four quarters, or as was the case on Sunday, for even just the fourth quarter, they can be as focused and as energetic a group of cagers as you’ll find.
Trailing by three points entering the final 10 minutes here at the Fraser Valley Quad-A championships’ winner-to-B.C.’s seventh-place game, Port Moody’s Kodiaks seemed to suddenly become the sum of all their best parts, putting together a comprehensive 21-2 run en route to an 85-72 win over Surrey’s Guildford Park Sabres.
“My assistant coach Roj (Johal) and I always joke that we can play against the top five teams in the province, but we can also play with the bottom five,” said a relieved and proud longtime head coach Chris Martin after the win propelled Heritage Woods into the B.C. Quad A championship draw next month at the LEC.
“I think we can do some damage at the provincials,” continued Martin. “I think one of the things I kept thinking about today is that there are four Grade 12s on this team and they have stuck it out. They are so tight and I have wanted this for them, to have experience at the senior level at provincials.”
Zach Hamed, Arshia Movassaghi, Gavin McMahon and Cartus Ko are that quartet and all contributed Sunday with 65 combined points as the Kodiaks were finally able to get past a tough and talented Guildford Park Sabres team which itself was trying to earn its first-ever B.C. tourney berth.
Hamed, the 6-foot-7 senior who wears his heart on his sleeve, scored a game-high 24 points, including 12 in the third quarter.
Movassahi, his fellow 6-foot-4 front-court running mate, scored 10 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter.
McMahon, the gutsy guard, came off the bench and knocked down three triples, while Ko added eight in a starting role.
“Mike has done a great job with that group,” said Martin of the Sabres’ head coach Mike Dumouchelle. “They switched defences and it gave us fits. We were really gripping the ball. In the second half we decided we had to take away their transition and we had to take care of the glass, which we did, particularly on the offensive boards.
Dumouchelle lamented the intangible loss of energy that took place down the game’s stretch drive.
“I think we missed a few too many lay-ups,” he said, “and they had more energy. They were winning loose balls and getting all the rebounds. We couldn’t muster up the energy to get back into the game tonight.”
Edrielle Asirit led the Sabres with 20 points, Vincent Ubaldo added 18 more, while Eric Hernandez and big man Jas Dhudwal scored 12 each.
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