TOP HALF DRAW
No. 1 OAK BAY 68 vs. NO. 8 BURNABY SOUTH 78
LANGLEY — In a tournament filled with upsets, why not the grandest one possible?
The basketball gods were sparing no one Thursday at the 2018 B.C. senior boys AAAA basketball championships and that included the No. 1 Oak Bay Bays of Victoria.
The maddeningly inconsistent Burnaby South Rebels picked the perfect time to play their best game of the season, and because of it, forged a 78-68 victory over the Victoria powerhouse.
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.
Diego Maffia scored a game-high 43 in the loss going 10-of-25 from distance, including four over the final minute of play.
Oak Bay’s only loss to B.C. competition this season had come at UVic Invitational over the holiday break to 2A power Brentwood College of Mill Bay.
(For more on Burnaby South’s story and how it relates to that of fellow underdog Belmont, go to VarsityLetters.ca )
No. 5 VANCOUVER COLLEGE No.13 BELMONT
See separate story at VarsityLetters.ca
BOTTOM HALF DRAW
No. 2 TAMANAWIS 63 vs. No. 10 WALNUT GROVE 60
LANGLEY — All around then the top seeds were falling, yet Surrey’s Tamanawis Wildcats, wracked by a vicious flu bug, leaned on their most reliable cure-all when it mattered most Thursday in the Elite 8 quarterfinals.
“I think the best word for us resiliency,” said Tammy head coach Mike McKay after his team’s heart-stopping 63-60 win over Langley’s defending champion Walnut Grove Gators.
Resident superstar guard Miguel Tomley, himself under the weather all week, scored 26 points to go along with seven rebounds and five assists in the victory.
Afterwards, McKay admitted just how sick Tomley has been.
“He’s been throwing up for about seven days as we’ve come into the tournament,” said McKay.
That said, it took everything and a little luck to hold off the Gators and their reigning tourney MVP James Woods.
The fireplug who carried the Gators past No. 7 seed St. George’s on Wednesday almost did it again, taking almost half of his team’s shot and finishing with a game-high 32 points.
Jeevan Sidhu hit a trey at the shot clock buzzer with 1:44 remaining to give the Cats a 61-54 lead, but Tyrell Urefe answered with a trey of his own just seconds later to make it 61-57.
After one Jarrett Jacobs free throw and another pair from Woods off a drive, the Gators had pulled to within 61-60 with 31.7 seconds left.
Sidhu’s two free throws made it 63-60 with 8.5 seconds remaining, but Grove’s attempt to tie the game came up short when Woods’ three-pointer fell shy with 1.4 seconds remaining.
The Wildcats will face league foe Semiahmoo for the fourth time this season in Friday’s Final Four.
Tammy has a 2-1 edge, its loss coming in the finals of the RCMP tournament where they choked back on a 20-point halftime lead.
No. 6 SEMIAHMOO 83 vs. No. 14 HOLY CROSS 64
LANGLEY — Before he turns the next page in his basketball career, Semiahmoo’s Adam Paige is making sure he leaves no stone unturned at the high school level.
The 6-foot-7 Paige was the story of the night for Surrey’s Totems, taking every bit of the inside match-up he owned against the smaller, crosstown Holy Cross Crusaders as part of an 83-64 victory that sends Semi to Friday’s Final Four.
“That’s a ridiculous number but he’s a ridiculous talent,” said Semiahmoo head coach Ed Lefurgy after Paige registered game highs in points (30) and rebounds (25) and the Totems almost tripled the Crusaders in rebounds 63-22.
Added Paige: “I will do whatever I can to get every single rebound, whatever my teams needs.”
Against the underdog Crusaders, who knew they needed to win with speed and ball pressure, the Totems stood the test, and while not perfect, found a way to bring their strengths to the fore.
“Whenever you play Holy Cross you know that have to be ready for their ball pressure,” said Lefurgy, acknowledging the 28 turnovers his team committed, giving the Crusaders a 25-11 in points scored off miscues. “But I am so proud of the way our guys were able to play tonight.”
Vlad Mihaila added 19 points for the winners.
Holy Cross, the preseason No. 1-ranked team, got 20 points from Uyi Ologhola, 12 from Gabe Takewoa and 10 from Jamal Osei-Anim.
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