MEI's Spencer Tatlock was the barometer of his team's success against Brookswood in the Eastern Valley Double-A championship final played Sunday at the Langley Events Centre. (Photo by Wilson Wong 2024. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Boys Basketball

With its Big Barometre back, MEI Eagles top Brookswood to claim Eastern Valley’s lone Triple-A Big Dance ticket!

LANGLEY — Ask Mike Lee how well he thought his MEI Eagles might have played on any certain day this season, and the team’s head coach goes to one place in his mind’s eye first.

He’ll think about how well the team’s 6-foot-9 forward Spencer Tatlock played before he speaks about the entire team.

“We go by the way that he goes,” Lee said Sunday night, this time with his mind on the way Tatlock performed in the Eagles’ dramatic 69-65 win over Langley’s Brookswood Bobcats in an Eastern Valley Triple-A championship game whose cruel realty was winner to the B.C.’s and loser finished for the season.

“I felt like our guys play hard and aggressive and that we have been waiting to play smart, and if we could put all that stuff together, we’d be OK,” said Lee, who couldn’t hide the fact that he thought his team did all three against the arch-rival Bobcats.

“The big key for us heading in today is that they had averaged, in the three games we have played them this season, 21 offensive rebounds. Our key was to take that away and we knew that if we did, that we would be successful.”

With Nathan Laspa scoring a team-high 27 in the win, and Lee’s own son Isaiah Lee scoring 19 more en route to tournament MVP honours, it was Tatlock who had the best opportunity to reverse the trend of the ‘Cats dominance on the offensive boards.

Brookswood, however, was doing more than standing on its own down low through the play of its post Malcolm Tyler, however Tyler suffered an injury to his right ankle with over seven minutes remaining in the game and left with his team leading 56-50.

And although he later returned, he was clearly not his full self. By that time, the Eagles’ had hit a different groove.

Logan Stewart carried the heaviest scoring load of the night on Sunday as his team faced the MEI Eagles in the Eastern Valley Double-A championship final played Sunday at the Langley Events Centre. (Photo by Wilson Wong 2024. All Rights Reserved)

Tatlock hit a pair of free throws, then threw down a dunk that brought the MEI faithful to their feet with a 61-58 lead and 2:56 remaining.

The injury to Tyler was impactful enough that Logan Stewart, the Bobcats’ dynamic, do-it-all guard literally had to do just that when it came to offence.

Stewart finished with a game-high 34 points including every point the team scored after Tyler was injured.

LJ Carmichael scored 12 points and Tyler nine.

“The last couple of weeks have been interesting,” said Lee of the fact the Tatlock suffered a concussion against Brookswood and hadn’t been cleared to play until two days ago.

He was able to play in MEI’s 99-70 win over Rick Hansen in the semifinals this past Thursday, also at the LEC.

Now, Lee can game-plan for the B.C.’s knowing he’s got his Big Barometre back.

“I had seven different game plans ready not knowing what was goign to unfold,” he laughed.

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