NORTH DELTA — Welcome to Quadrant B of our 75th anniversary All-Time B.C. High School Boys Basketball Tournament Bracket.
We have posted the complete bracket featuring all 32 first round results right here at VarsityLetters.ca, and we will include that same bracket with each of our in-depth looks at all four quadrants. (See bottom)
VarsityLetters.ca did not take part in the team selections nor the fantasy outcomes.
Next week’s second-round results will like run either Tuesday or perhaps Wednesday. Stayed tuned for further details on the actual release date.
(at Vic High)
No. 1 Kelowna (2016) No. 16 St. George’s (2009)
The skinny — The Owls made one of the truly impressive runs to the title in 2016, capping a season in which they were a wire-to-wire No. 1 behind the play of tournament MVP Grant Shephard who scored 36 points and grabbed 22 rebounds in an 87-72 title-game win over the Tamanawis Wildcats.
The St. George’s Saints arrived at the provincial tournament seven years prior in a uniquely different position. As part of the tournament’s now-defunct 20-team play-in format, the Saints became the first-and-only team to win five straight bracket games to capture the title, winning it in a most dramatic way, getting a game-winning shot from Emerson Murray with 2.6 seconds remaining for a 63-62 win over arch-rival Vancouver College.
The finish was Hollywood all the way, yet our panel ruled in favour of a decisive Kelowna victory.
FINAL SCORE: Kelowna 87 St. George’s 71
No. 8 Magee (1961) No. 9 Lord Byng (1958)
The skinny — The Magee Blackshirts were about as untouchable as a team could be at a provincial tournament when they swept to victory 59 years ago.
Led by tournament MVP Brent Watson and fellow first-team all-star Mel Hoff, no one came within double digits of Magee at the 1961 tourney, one they capped with a 70-45 win over Semiahmoo.
The 1958 Lord Byng Grey Ghosts topped the Prince of Wales Walesmen 36-33 in the ’58 title game, the only contest to ever feature opposing Vancouver city public schools in a top-tiered boys final.
While Ed Gushue, Keith Hartley and the rest of the Ghosts gave a fair account of themselves in their fantasy match-up, the panel gave Magee a slight edge in the No. 8-9 matchup.
FINAL SCORE: Magee 59 Lord Byng 51
No. 5 Aldergrove (1995) No. 12 Yale (2015)
The skinny — Playing in what your author has often times described as the most iconic gym in provincial history (at least the ones I have been in), the low-ceiling and the wall of noise inside the gym at the old Steveston Secondary School was unforgettable.
In this fantasy opening-round game, the selection committee simply felt that the momentum Aldergrove had built throughout the season was too much to ignore. Consider that the Double A No. 1 Totems struck a blow for Double-A basketball by beating the undefeated, No. 1-ranked Triple-A Richmond Colts 81-77 in a mid-season exhibition.
Yale, of course, was led by its guard Jauquin Bennett-Boire, who in leading Yale to the 2015 title, put on a magnificent 44-point scoring performance, the second-highest ever in the championship game, and one shy of the guy who called the Steveston gym his home away from home: Gareth Davies.
In the end, the Totems and MVP guard Randy Nohr escape with a narrow victory.
FINAL SCORE: Aldergrove 84 Yale 81
No. 4 White Rock Christian Academy (1999) No. 13 West Vancouver (1982)
The skinny — It was a Grade 10-aged guard Kyle Wilson who announced himself as one of the most gigantic talents in the history of the B.C. high school game.
Wilson finished with 24 points, and coupled with the excellent play of MVP Chad Clifford, it was enough to lead the Warriors past Coquitlam’s Centennial Centaurs 72-62.
On the other side of this fantasy match-up is perhaps the tournament’s most inspired victory ever. Of course you’ve heard it.
West Vancouver coach Brian Upson, in a brave battle with cancer, drew enough strength to help guide his team past the Argyle Pipers in the only all-North Shore final ever contested at the tournament. MVP Paul Kitchener’s two free throws with 13 seconds remaining lifted the Highlanders to a 49-48 upset win. Upson passed away two weeks later.
“West Vancouver was such an amazing story,” said one of the panelists. “But when you look at that White Rock team, with Kyle Wilson and Chad Clifford, it was a stacked team. They were just so good.”
FINAL SCORE: WRCA 75 West Vancouver 61
(at White Rock Christian Academy)
No. 6 Mission (1954) No. 11 Burnaby South (2018)
The skinny —The Burnaby South Rebels of 2018 were a team which came together and found their stride as late in the season as the provincial tourney itself, and when all of those pieces clicked, they were something to watch.
Yet the 1954 Mission team, a 40-39 winner over Vancouver’s Gladstone Gladiators, was led by one of the most unique and talented players in all of B.C. basketball: Tournament MVP John Kootnekoff.
He may have belonged to a lower-scoring era, but Kooty was a scorer, his 20-point output in the final amounting to half of his team’s offensive output.
Of course in the process of bringing integrity to a fantasy playdown involving teams over a span of 75 years, allowances must be made, and in the end, the panel felt that one of the best teams of the 1950s would have made the adjustment to playing in any era.
FINAL SCORE: Mission 67 Burnaby South 62
No. 3 Vancouver College (1967) No. 14 Victoria (1966)
The skinny —Quite amazingly, 1967 was the last time Vancouver College won a top-tiered B.C. high school basketball title.
The 1967 Irish were a vaunted crew, going 29-2 en route to a 56-41 win over David Thompson in the final.
Playing in the same era, the 1966 Vic High Totems lost to capital city rivals Oak Bay three times to begin the 1965-66 season, but beat them when it mattered most, putting on a defensive clinic to win title, holding the Bays to 9-of-42 shooting from the field 37-33 title win the ’66 crown.
The verdict here? The Irish, led by the likes of Bob Beaupre and John Beaton, prove too much for Ollie Moilanen, Drew Schroeder and the rest of the Totems.
FINAL SCORE: Vancouver College 54 Vic High 46
No. 7 Abbotsford (1993) No. 10 Oak Bay (1968)
The skinny —By 1968, head coach Gary Taylor’s Oak Bay Bays were playing in their third final in four seasons, and tourney MVP Dave Morgan was their signature force.
The Abbotsford Panthers, by contrast, had never before won a B.C. title. Yet the 1982-83 team had it all, from guard Surinder Sarowa, to its 6-7 and 6-6 frontcourt duo of Larry Clarkson and Dave Lescheid, who were athletic and who tipped the scales at a combined 470 pounds.
This one goes down to the wire, with the Panthers squeaking out a victory just before the buzzer.
FINAL SCORE: Abbotsford 64 Oak Bay 63
No. 2 Argyle (2004) No. 15 White Rock Christian Academy (2003)
The skinny —One of greatest teams to come off the North Shore, the 2004 Argyle Pipers had it all, even though they were thought to be a little inexperienced.
Senior post Scott Morrison, however, was a tower of power en route to MVP honours, and a trio of Grade 11s in Sinclair Brown, Kevin Shaw and Sean Burke were similarly clutch in leading the school to a 65-44 win over Pitt Meadows in the final.
White Rock Christian’s 2003 title team featured a Grade 10 Tyrell Mara, as well as seniors Jordan Craig and Donald Burton.
As good as head coach Scott Allen’s Fraser Valley champs were, the selection committee cast their vote for the Pipers.
FINAL SCORE: Argyle 89 WRCA 72
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