LANGLEY — B.C.’s latest No. 1-ranked AAAA team won’t be there, but the only non-ranked, non-honourable mention team in the 16-team field here at the 2017 Tsumura Basketball Invitational will.
Count in the team that is executing it’s stuff like it’s a day in mid March, another which is putting a defence on the floor that its causing opposition nightmares and another which is experiencing a re-birth after an early stumble out of the gates as the preseason favourites.
Hey, it’s all going according to plan right?
That’s the skinny heading into the quarterfinal round at the TBI.
A W.J. Mouat Hawks team from Abbotsford which is putting a deadly zone defence on the floor, got off to such a hot start that the No. 1-ranked Burnaby South Rebels have been moved to consolation side of the draw.
A Terry Fox Ravens team out of PoCo which has not been recognized by anyone other than perhaps their head coach Brad Petersen, won for the second straight day.
Surrey’s Holy Cross Crusaders, down but not out following two losses at the Heritage Woods Kodiak Classic last weekend, are performing like the team that sat atop the polls all offseason.
And Victoria’s Oak Bay Bays, who look like they never left the court all summer, are looking like perhaps the team to beat following two lopsided wins.
With the semifinals now set for 7 p.m. tonight: Oak Bay vs. Terry Fox, Holy Cross vs. W.J. Mouat, let’s look at Friday’s four quarterfinals:
OAK BAY 82 WALNUT GROVE 57
LANGLEY — This was No. 3 Oak Bay vs. No. 4 Walnut Grove, but right now, it’s hard to know if anyone is playing at the Bays’ level.
“Our guys are staying aggressive and they are playing well in open space,” said Bays head coach Chris Franklin. “And Diego and Caelan in our back court are really creating a lot of different things.”
That’s Grade 11 guard Diego Maffia and senior guard Caelan Scott, the Oak Bay engine room.
Not only did the pair fuel the fire of so many of the 10-deep Bays rotational combinations, they led the scoring parade.
Maffia scored 22 while Scott added 14.
Tyler Hills added 12 as 10 Bays hit the scoresheet, and Oak Bay closed the third quarter on a 17-5 run to take a 61-38 lead into the final quarter.
B.C. AAAA MVP guard James Woods scored a game high 24 points for the Gators, while fellow guard Jarrett Jacobs added 13 points and forward Luke Adams 10 points.
TERRY FOX 86 YALE 65
LANGLEY — The Ravens, unranked and under-appreciated by everyone, got 29 points from Jacob Mand and 28 more from David Chien to beat the Lions and their superstar guard Bradley Braich (34 points, 78 through two games).
Clinging to a 40-38 halftime lead, Terry Fox got inside-outside contributions from its largely Grade 11 roster to to win going away.
Forward Grady Stanyer had 13 points in the win while Max Kerr had 13 in a losing cause.
W.J. MOUAT 73 BURNABY SOUTH 63
LANGLEY — The Hawks led 37-8 at one stage, before No. 1 South found its feet late to finish within 10 points.
“Defensively, we have started to mix things up a bit, which is really nice,” said Mouat head coach Rich Ralston. “We can throw different looks at people. Today, they didn’t deal with our 3-2 zone in the first half, but we also didn’t deal with their extended 2-3 zone, so we still have to go back to the drawing board there.”
Hawks’ big man Dhivaan Bogal, who scored 30 points in an opening-round win over Heritage Woods, battled through foul trouble and finished with 16 points.
Harvir Garcha, however, added a game-high 23.
Jiordano Khan led the Rebels with 19 points while Vince Sunga added 16.
HOLY CROSS 87 LORD TWEEDSMUIR 68
LANGLEY — The Hawks will face Holy Cross in one Friday semifinal.
The Crusaders have begun to thrive in their uptempo attack, and managed to keep a step ahead of the Panthers for the duration of the game.
“We’re getting better, a lot better,” said Holy Cross coach Anthony Pezzente. “But we still have a long ways to go. We love playing in this kind of a tournament early in the year because it really helps us build for February and March when it really matters.”
Michael Risi led the winners with a game-high 23 points, while Uyi Ologhola and Gabe Takeawoa added 16 apiece. Marcus Garcia added 14 more.
“You have got to believe in it, and take the ups and downs that come with it,” said Pezzente of fully embracing the uptempo environment. “You have to live with bad shots, bad rotations. As long as they play hard, that’s what matters the most.”
For the second straight game, Arjun Samra led Lord Tweedsmuir, this time with 16 points. Patrick Jonas and Dylan Kincey scored 11 each, while Ethan Rivas added 10.
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