The Final Four has been set for the 2018 B.C. senior boys high school basketball championships on Friday.
No. 2 South Kamloops will face No. 6 Pitt Meadows in a 3:30 p.m. tilt at Arena Bowl, while No. 1 Byrne Creek and No. 4 North Delta tip off on the same floor at 5:15 p.m.
Here’s our look, with stories and photos, at Thursday’s four quarterfinal contests.
TOP HALF DRAW
No. 1 BYRNE CREEK 68 vs. No. 8 SIR CHARLES TUPPER 57
LANGLEY — See VarsityLetters.ca for full story.
No. 4 NORTH DELTA 78 vs. No. 5 R.A. MCMATH 73
LANGLEY — It’s North Delta’s Grade 11s who get much of the spotlight.
But on Thursday, as Grade 11 Suraj Gahir continued to cout a wide swath throught the competition with a 30-point night, it was senior Armaan Johal who kept pace, pouring home 28 of his own and grabbing 11 rebounds to lead the Huskies to a tight victory over Richmond’s Wildcats which sends it into the Final Four for the first time since the Davis Sanchez era in 1993.
Locked in a 34-34 halftime draw, the two teams traded figurative punches over the second half.
Bryce Mason with 18 points, Vic Radocaj with 16 and 16 rebounds, Jordin Kojima with 15 and Rohan Balaggan with 14 led McMath.
BOTTOM HALF DRAW
No. 2 SOUTH KAMLOOPS 62 vs. No. 7 DUCHESS PARK 44
LANGLEY — The South Kamloops Titans know that if they’re going to make a title run here at the 2018 B.C. AAA basketball championships, they’re going to have to roll with the punches as well as any team in the field.
So when star centre Ripley Martin got whistled for his third foul late in the third quarter and headed for a seat on the bench, the Titans knew that they were being given a test.
Leading by nine at that stage, South Kamloops continued to build their momentum and pushed their lead to as many as 20 before earning a Final Four berth with an 18-point win.
“We are resilient and we showed that,” South Kam coach Bryce McMillan explained after the victory. “When Ripley went to the bench, we went small ball and it worked out for us The guys worked their butts off all game and they had to because Duchess Park is so well coached. Like us, they are very structured.”
Reid Jansen, whom McMillan rightly labels “a warrior” was superb at every level, finishing with 21 points and five steals. Nick Sarai added 13 and Evan Jumaga 10 while Martin had nine points and 13 rebounds.
Malcolm McDonald had 11 points, and Colburn Pearce nine points and 10 rebounds in the loss for the Condors.
No. 6 PITT MEADOWS 84 No. 14 RICHMOND 64
LANGLEY — Don’t look now, but look who has snuck up on the rest of the provincial pack, and now have their sights set on a berth in the championship final.
The Pitt Meadows Marauders are getting better with each passing day and when that happens in the early days of March, it’s usually a pretty good indicator.
On Thursday, one-man wrecking crew Giovanni Manu continued to power his way to points, collecting 33 of them while grabbing 10 rebounds in a sound win over the Colts.
Cole Leon added 21 points in the victory.
The Marauders lost to North Delta in the Fraser Valley final, yet both teams have found their way to the semifinals and could oppose each other again in Saturday’s championship tilt.
Daniel Afanasiyevskyy led the Colts with 21 points while Murad Mohammed added 17.
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