LANGLEY — The Final Four is now set at the 2021 Tsumura Basketball Invitational.
In the 6:45 p.m. game, Fleetwood Park of Surrey will face King George of Vancouver in the all-to-rare Clash of the Dragons.
At 8:15 p.m., super-power Burnaby South faces Vancouver’s Sir Winston Churchill.
The two winners will square off in Saturday’s 8:30 p.m. final.
Here’s our look at all four of Friday’s quarterfinals to set you up for Final Four Friday!
TOP HALF DRAW
Vancouver’s Sir Winston Churchill Bulldogs, ranked No. 5 in the latest B.C. Quad-A poll, will face the No. 1-ranked, defending B.C. champion Burnaby South Rebels in a 6:15 p.m. semifinal here at the Tsumura Basketball Invitational.
Ethan Baron was the difference, finishing with a game-high 30 points as the Bulldogs beat the No. 7 AAAA Abbotsford Panthers 71-68 in double-overtime in the final quarterfinal contest of the day at the Langley Events Centre. Baron scored five of those points in the decisive second OT frame.
“Our kids, they just keep fighting and fighting, and we get maximum effort from them every game,” said Churchill head coach Quyen Ly.
The Bulldogs were playing without the services of two of its top players as senior guards Milan John and Filip Subotic were unavailable for action.
“We are a little wounded up front,” admitted Ly. “Fil is sick and Milan a little hurt, but come January, when we really need them, they are going to be back. We’ll be OK.”
Baron hit a trey to tie the score at 64-64 with 33 seconds left, ultimately sending it to overtime.
And while he missed a shot to win it as the first overtime buzzer sounded, Ly said the absence of his two key seniors has allowed Grade 10 guard Luka Subotic to step up in a big time way.
“He never wants to come out,” Ly said of the younger Subotic who dropped a trio of threes in the game to finish with nine points. “He has so much heart. I love that kid.”
The Panthers led most of the way in what was just another astonishingly close contest at this year’s tournament.
Jahvon Maksymiw led the Panthers with 23 points, while rough and rugged Grade 11 forward Dilveer Randhawa continues to open eyes, this time with 20 points, including six triples.
Burnaby South won for the third straight time by 40-plus points, this time 89-52 over Victoria’s Claremont Spartans.
Karan Aujla, the bruising Grade 12 post, led the way with 19 points. Armaan Hehar added 15 and Jimmy Zaborniak another 10.
A 24-7 run by the Rebels in the second quarter put a tight game out of reach as Burnaby South built a 55-27 lead at halftime and never looked back.
BOTTOM HALF DRAW
The Fleetwood Park Dragons earned their spot in the Final Four the hard way.
With starting forward Eesher Sarai and Gurmun Ghuman on the bench with four fouls apiece, Surrey’s Dragons leaned on their guard play and a switch to a zone defence to survive the late stages of the third quarter in tact against Richmond’s A.R. MacNeill Ravens.
Then, early in the fourth, Fleetwood went on an 18-6 run tp build their lead to 74-66, en route to its 78-68 win.
Guard Allen Landasan continued his fine play with a game-high 19 points, while fellow backcourt mate Isaiah Young supplied 15. Sarai, despite his foul troubles, still finished with 13.
Ravens’ forward Everett Swaim led the his team with 15 points, while guard Marco Esteban added 14.
In a rare convergence of similarly-nicknamed teams, the other half of Friday’s first Final Four will be going by the same nickname.
Vancouver’s King George Dragons played tough out of its tradition 2-3 zone defence, holding near Xerox-like form in turning a 33-21 halftime lead into a 66-43 victory.
King George senior point guard Max Astak drove the bus from start to finish, his game-high 19 points in leading his Dragons in the low-scoring affair.
Big-man Adam Spano’s 11 points and interior presence was key in the game, and the depth of the Dragons’ guard group shone through with 12 points apiece from Palmer Currie and Jose Zuluaga.
Tristan Schianni led STM with nine points while Timmy Gonzales added seven more.
If you’re reading this story or viewing these photos on any 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.