LANGLEY — We’re down to eight teams in the chase for the 2018 B.C. junior boys basketball title, and we’ve only finished the first of four days!
Sunday’s championship round quarterfinal schedule:
TOP HALF DRAW
3:30 p.m. — Vancouver College vs. Seaquam (South Court), Handsworth vs. St. George’s (Centre Court)
BOTTOM HALF DRAW
2 p.m. — Sir Charles Tupper vs. Belmont (South Court), Lord Tweedsmuir vs. Vernon (Centre Court)
By the way, the we began Saturday with teams seeded 1-32.
Tonight, the only seeds remaining are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 11 and 23, the latter belonging to the Cinderella Belmont Bulldogs of Victoria.
Here’s the game reports supplied by the top and bottom halves of the draw, each with two quadrants.
TOP HALF DRAW
NO. 1 VANCOUVER COLLEGE 58 NO. 17 FLEETWOOD PARK 42
LANGLEY — Hunter Cruz-Dumont scored nine of his game-high 25 points in the fourth quarter as the No. 1 seed Vancouver College Fighting Irish used a late surge to top Surrey’s Dragons.
Fleetwood Park had scrapped its way to within 37-32 with a third-quarter power surge, however behind Dumont’s play and a pair of key treys from Michael Chong, the Irish were able to open the fourth quarter on a 15-0 run.
Luc Therrien added 15 points for Vancouver College, while Bhavrup Gosal with 17 and Rav Randhawa with 12 led Fleetwood Park.
The Irish face North Delta’s Seaquam Seahawks in a 3:30 p.m. quarterfinal on Sunday.
NO. 8 SEAQUAM 55 NO. 24 TERRY FOX 44
LANGLEY — North Delta is having a second straight strong showing at the B.C. junior championships.
One year after the North Delta Huskies made a run to the final four, crosstown rival Seaquam is attempting to do the same.
Antesham Wahla scored a game-high 20 points, while Dylan Andersen and Mitchell Hope scored 13 and 12 points respectively in an 11-point win over PoCo’s Ravens.
In a game in which the Seahawks seemed to live on the free throw line, Seaquam ultimately won the game by going on a 13-6 game-ending run.
Cam Slaymaker scored 18 points for the Ravens, while Jake McFarland added eight.
Seaquam faces Vancouver College in a quarterfinal match on Sunday.
NO. 4 HANDSWORTH 68 NO. 20 JOHN OLIVER 62
LANGLEY — North Vancouver’s Handsworth Royals leaned on their big three to carry them through a decisive fourth quarter Saturday here at the 2018 B.C. junior boys invitational basketball championships.
George Horn, Robert Lutman, and Zack Watters not only all finished in double-digits to lead the Royals to a 68-62 come-from-behind win over Vancouver’s John Oliver Jokers, they pooled their forces to score all 19 of Handsworth’s fourth-quarter points.
And all of that was big as the plucky Jokers, whose collection of skilled and quick guards gave Handsworth a lot of problems, led 54-49 heading into the final quarter.
Horn, a 6-foot-8 forward, scored 22 points, while guards Lutman and Watters scored 18 and 14 respectively.
Rowell Acena scored 22 points to pace the Jokers while Joshua Bucu, the team’s 6-foot centre, added 21.
Handsworth will face St. George’s in a 3:30 p.m. semifinal on Sunday.
NO. 5 ST. GEORGE’S 68 NO. 12 ABBOTSFORD 56
LANGLEY — Four Saints broke double-figures in scoring led by the 22 of Sam Wooder, and Vancouver’s St. George’s once again put itself within a win of the Final Four here at the 2018 B.C. junior boys invitational basketball championships.
Wooder, the 6-foot-3 Grade 10 guard, played a leading role in helping the Saints’ focus down the late stages of play to outlast the hard-working Abbotsford Panthers 68-56 at the Langley Events Centre.
Ao Ma, another 6-foot-3 Grade 10 guard added 18 points to help St. George’s set up a 3:30 p.m. quarterfinal date Sunday with North Vancouver’s Handsworth Royals.
Jaxon Cohee, the 6-foot-6 guard, added 15 points while Grade 9 forward Eli Van Haren scored 10 points.
Abbotsford, which led through most of the first half, got a team-high 19 points from Grade 10 forward Karn Brar. Josiah Levale had 14, Jalem Catlin 10 and Carlin Dick nine.
BOTTOM HALF DRAW
NO. 2 SIR CHARLES TUPPER 54 NO. 18 BURNABY MOUNTAIN 41
LANGLEY — The Little Team That Could almost did it, yet trying to pull what would have been the biggest upset of the opening day was not in the cards for the Burnaby Mountain Lions.
Starting with just seven players and finishing with just four, the courageous Lions drppped a 13-point decision to the powerhouse Tigers of East Vancouver.
Post Matthew Dunkerley led the winners with a game-high 22 points while guard Noah Bass added 10 in the win.
The Lions were led by the 16 points of Luke Fukusaku, 13 more froim Joao Coimra and 10 more from Paul Didenko.
“This is a huge learning curve for us,” said Lions’ head coach Greg Matic, whose charges won just once a season ago, but bounced back this season to go 7-1 and win their league.
“We played hard but we didn’t always play overly smart,” added Matic. “But it’s building blocks for the future.”
Tupper, last season’s finalists and this season’s No. 2 overall seed, built a 46-24 lead, but the Lions went on a 16-0 run to cut it to within six points down the stretch drive before what looked like two serious injuries zapped their comeback powers.
“We have a long way to go but our guys, they don’t quit,” said Matic. “When you look at the character of a kid, you ask if they competed hard from start to finish and when they do that, you just have to love them.”
The Tigers will face Belmont in a 2 p.m. quarter final on Sunday.
NO. 23 BELMONT 53 NO. 7 KELOWNA 42
LANGLEY — They may be a No. 23 seed, but Victoria’s Belmont Bulldogs will be rubbing elbows with the rest of B.C.’s Elite 8 here at the 2018 B.C. junior boys basketball championships.
“That was our goal at the start of the season, to finish in the top 10 and now we’re Elite 8 and so we’ll see how the chips fall,” said Belmont head coach Curt Spaven.
Markus Madrovic led the winners with 16 points while Cole Belton added eight.
Kelowna, the No. 7 seed, got 13 points from Malcolm Greggor and 11 from Braden White.
The Bulldogs knocked off No. 10 Centennial of Coquitlam to open the day.
NO. 3 LORD TWEEDSMUIR 68 NO. 19 G.W. GRAHAM 52
LANGLEY — Last season, the Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers had all kinds of trouble after earning the B.C. junior field’s No. 1 seed.
How’s life as the No. 3 seed?
Coached Raj Bagry and Chad Olafson would tell you it’s just groovy.
Jackson Corneil, LT’s 6-foot-5 Grade 10 forward, poured home 26 points while Josh Hamulas added 18 and Jason Hans nine as the Panthers rallied form a 10-2 deficit to start the contest and earn a quaterfinal berth against the Vernon Panthers on Sunday.
Cairo Almarez with 21 points and Jude Hall with 13 led the Grizzlies who trailed 39-29 at halftime.
NO. 11 VERNON 55 NO. 6 BURNABY SOUTH 46
LANGLEY — When the Vernon Panthers won the first up-country junior varsity high school football title in B.C. history last December, you got a pretty good idea that this collection of athletes were a group of road warriors who could care less about being branded underdogs.
On the opening day of the 2018 B.C. junior varsity boys basketball championships, there a lot of them were again, this time defeating the team which held the final No. 1 ranking of the season in the B.C. JV Top 10 poll.
With nary a dip in their play the entire 32 minutes, the Panthers dispatched the defending B.C. champion and No. 6-seeded Burnaby South Rebels 55-46.
“That has been the talk all season, to maintain maturity and we know at the junior boys level, up-and-down is the nature of the beast,” said head coach Malcom Reid, who coaches the team along with head football coach Sean Smith and veteran hoops guru Bob Corbett. “The team that wins is the one that is the most consistent.
Kevin Morgan, the 6-foot-3 forward led the Panthers with 19 points, while Zack Smith, the JV football team’s starting quarterback, added 14. Trent Charleton added 11.
Justin Sunga led the Rebels with 16 points while Matthew Pineda had 11 and Jareb Pineda 10.
As far as having any kind of fear factor coming in?
Reid dispelled that notion simply by the basis of his players’ success within their multi-sport experiences.
“To be honest, a lot of these kids played football and won a provincial title and they are not scared of anyone,” said Reid, who then expanded on his thoughts when pushed for more.
“There is some thought that if you are not from the Lower Mainland or the Fraser Valley that you might be intimidated. Again, these kids have played hockey, soccer, baseball and basketball since they were young, they have travelled the province to do it and they have had a lot of success.”
If you’re reading this story or viewing these photos on any other website other than one belonging to a university athletic department, it has been taken without appropriate permission. In these challenging times, true journalism will survive only through your dedicated support and loyalty. VarsityLetters.ca and all of its exclusive content has been created to serve B.C.’s high school and university sports community with hard work, integrity and respect. Feel free to drop us a line any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.