Burnaby South's Jimmy Zaborniak (centre) splits the defence of Duchess Park's Tony Zejnulahovic and Caleb Lyons during TBI bronze clash Saturday at the LEC. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of VarsityLetters.ca 2019. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Boys Basketball

TBI 2019’s Surprise Team: Despite third-place loss to powerhouse Burnaby South, PG’s Duchess Park Condors leave their mark

LANGLEY — Prince George’s Duchess Park Condors, the Triple-A interlopers with the audacity to crash the Final Four party here at TBI 2019 on Friday night, may not have gotten the finish they wanted following an 81-63 loss to the Quad-A No. 1-ranked Burnaby South Rebels in Saturday’s third-fourth place contest.

Falling behind 23-4 off the opening tip certainly wasn’t the recommended start against the powerhouse Rebels, and try as they might, the Triple-A No. 3-ranked Condors didn’t have it in them to pull off the miracle comeback.

“Did we follow our game plan? Not exactly,” admitted Condors’ head coach Jordan Yu, whose team nonetheless pulled the biggest upset of the event with its 89-86 win in the Friday morning quarterfinals against the Quad-A No. 5-ranked Holy Cross Crusaders.

“That was a really good team we were up against tonight in Burnaby South,” added Yu as Rebels’ Grade 11 guard Jimmy Zaborniak scored a game-high 26 points, including a breathtaking eight treys. “I think we ran out of legs by end of tournament. We don’t see this kind of competition often. Playing just Quadruple-A teams, and good ones, too… I think it wore on us a bit. But no excuses. We need to be better conditioned.”

Burnaby South, stinging from its loss in Friday’s semifinal to the No. 2 Kelowna Owls, showed their maturity despite their distinct lack of senior influence.

Grade 11 point guard Justin Sunga continued to play like the team’s leader, scoring 25 points in his usual efficient fashion. 

Grade 10 forward Karan Aujla added 20.

The Condors got 19 from Connor Lewis, 14 from Caleb Lyons, and plenty of reasons to come to their next practice back home in Prince George with a collective fire in their bellies.

“We have lots to take away from this weekend, especially this last one,” said Yu. “We played a poor game on defence, none of our shots were falling. But it could also be that we were playing Burnaby South for the first time in school history. Whatever it was, it just wasn’t there.”

Nonetheless, the Condors beat Quad-A teams Walnut Grove and No. 5 Holy Cross to make the Final Four before losing back-to-back to No. 3 Centennial and No. 1 Burnaby South.

“I think we showed some signs that we can be a contending team,” said Yu, whose TBI efforts no doubt caught the attention of Triple A No. 1 Vernon and No. 2 Sir Charles Tupper, the two programs ranked above them heading into the weekend.

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