OAK BAY 85 VANCOUVER COLLEGE 70
LANGLEY — It stood as a testament to toll to be paid along the build-up towards the character-testing nature of a fourth-quarter stretch drive.
On Friday, there was nothing to choose between Victoria’s Oak Bay Bays and the Vancouver College Fighting Irish in the second of two Tsumura Basketball Invitational Super 16 semifinals at the Langley Events Centre.
In a game which seemingly fluctuated between one or two possessions either way for what must have been three-and-a-half quarters, however, it was the Bays who found a finishing kick when one was needed most, and with it, the spoils that come with a berth in Saturday’s showcase TBI final.
So what was key behind a 15-5 game-closing run?
“It comes down to our teamwork… the way that we play together,” stated Bays standout senior guard Griffin Arnatt, who scored 12 of his game-high 32 points in the final quarter, including a focussed 6-for-6 from the free throw line, and now leads his team into the TBI finals Saturday (8:30 p.m.) against the Kelowna Owls.
That’s a big number in a game where every point was hard-earned, so does that make Arnatt the team’s star?
Or is this collective of gritty, never-say-die Bays in fact a star-less team of sorts?
Arnatt pondered the question for a second.
“I think we’re all stars in our own way,” he said.
Hard to argue.
Arnatt was a in a groove to be sure, but head coach Chris Franklin’s rotation keeps so many involved.
Grade 11 guard Heath Taylor and senior guard Matthew Magnan had 14 apiece, while 6-foot-7 Grade forward Owen Lewis added nine, and Grade 10 guard Toren Franklin eight.
Vancouver College, for the second week in a row, lost in a high-calibre tourney semifinal.
Last week its run at the Heritage Woods Kodiak Classic was ended by St. Patrick’s.
This time around, senior guard Mikyle Malabuyoc led the Irish with 17 points while 6-foot-8 Grade 12 centre Roko Maric added 14. Grade 11 guard Finn Teasdale hit three treys and finished with nine points.
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