St. George's Jaxon Cohee helped carry the Saints past Handsworth and into a B.C. Final Four meeting Monday against arch-rival Vancouver College. (Varsity Letters photo by Howard Tsumura)
Feature High School Boys Basketball

Saints vs. Irish: Just like the big boys, this junior varsity rivalry reaches B.C. Final Four with a fever pitch

LANGLEY — It was appointment viewing this past Friday when a sold-out crowd braved the snow and filled the Richmond Olympic Oval to its limit.

We’re talking, of course, about St. George’s vs. Vancouver College, and in grand, late-season basketball tradition, Friday’s senior varsity clash for the Lower Mainland AAAA title, won by the Irish, will now be followed three days later with more of the same right here at the 2018 B.C. junior boys basketball championships.

“It’s been just as special for these guys,” said Saints’ JV head coach Guy da Silva of both his Saints and the junior Fighting Irish, both of who won quarterfinal games Sunday and will clash Monday, 3 p.m., to determine who advances to Tuesday’s B.C. title tilt.

No. 5 seed St. George’s outlasted North Vancouver’s Handsworth Royals 53-42 in one quarterfinal, while in another, the No. 1 seeded Irish toppled North Delta’s Seaquam Seahawks 70-53.

Hunter Cruz-Dumont points the way in leading Vancouver College past Seaquam on Sunday in the BC JV Elite 8. (Varsity Letters photo by Howard Tsumura)

“We’ve had three great games already this season,” said da Silva. “(Vancouver College) got us on a buzzer-beater with 7/10ths of second left for our league championship, and to be honest, we were hoping to see them. We want the rematch. 

“(VC’s) Ethan (Wong) is a great coach and they have a great program,” da Silva continued. “It’s two-to-one for them this season but maybe we can even the score.”

Jaxon Cohee’s game-high 15 points led the winners, who also got 12 points from Eli Van Haren, and 11 apiece from Sam Wooder and Ao Ma.

George Horn scored 15 in a losing cause for Handsworth.

Vancouver College pulled away late to beat Seaquam, but had to battle to gain separation.

Sahil Sandhu and Hunter Cruz-Dumont each scored 21 points to lead Vancouver College.

Jason Soriano added 13 in the victory.

Antesham Wahla and Dylan Andersen each scored 13 points to lead Seaquam, while Justyn Barn added 11.

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