Burnaby South Rebels, G.W. Graham Grizzlies, Charles Hays Rainmakers and Unity Christian Flames won their respective games at the BC High School Boys Basketball Tournament in Langley on Saturday, March 7th, bringing the high school basketball season to a close.
For the second time in three years, the Burnaby South Rebels are provincial champions.
The top-seed Rebels were tied with the third-seed Kelowna Owls at 19 early in the second quarter before reeling off a half-closing 12-5 lead and never looked back, finishing with the 70-58 victory.
The two teams capped off a day of four championship finals as they squared off in the BC High School 4A Boys Basketball Tournament gold-medal game at Langley Events Centre.
A seven-point game at the half, Burnaby South head coach Mike Bell challenged Sasha Vujisic, his six-foot-10 Grade 12 forward.
Vujisic struggled offensively in the first 20 minutes with just two points on 1-for-7 shooting. He did manage nine rebounds, however. But once the second half began, it was a different story as the big man was six-for-eight from the field, finishing with 15 points and 20 rebounds.
“And he responded. He is difficult to stop. If he gets mad, you don’t want to get in his way,” the coach said.
Saturday night, G.W. Graham Grizzlies capped off an incredible four-day run which saw them knock off the No. 2 seed Vernon Panthers in Friday’s semi-final round and then capture the school’s first-ever provincial basketball title with a 79-67 victory over the No. 1 ranked Duchess Park Condors. Mouritzen has been at the helm of the program since the school opened its doors in 2006 and its previous best finish was a bronze medal at the 2A level.
“I am going to be honest, I never thought I was going to get this feeling,” said a teary-eyed Mouritzen, his voice quivering. “This is my 20th season and I have been in a lot of big games and have come out on the wrong end a lot of times. I never thought I was going to get this day, so it is pretty awesome
The buzzer sounds and the G.W. Graham Grizzlies are your 2020 BC High School Basketball 3A Boys Champions! They defeat Duchess Park 79-67. pic.twitter.com/zoeYjDDlfG
— BC 3A Boys Basketball (@BC3ABoysBBall) March 8, 2020
Defence wins championships and the Charles Hays Rainmakers defensive unit delivered, resulting in a second consecutive provincial title.
The Rainmakers turned a four-point game at the half into a double-digit lead in their 67-45 victory over the King George Dragons on Saturday at Langley Events Centre in the championship final of the BC High School 2A Boys Tournament.
It was the top two teams playing for gold and the No. 1 ranked (and defending champion) Rainmakers held the No. 2 Dragons to a 16-for-56 (28.6 per cent) shooting performance from the field. The Dragons trailed by nine after one quarter and cut the lead to four at the half with a trio of triples in the period. But an 11-0 run to start the third extended the lead to double digits and the Rainmakers never looked back, winning their third 2A title and fourth title overall having won the 4A crown back in 1964.
The defence also came through in the 2019 title game.
“Those are two of our best defensive games in the last two years and we saved them for the last game of the season,” said the Rainmakers Kai Leighton, selected the Most Valuable Player. Leighton had 21 points, 15 rebounds, two assists and three steals in the championship game.
With a provincial title on the line against their city rivals, head coach Dave Bron resorted to a game of rock, paper, scissors.
Bron’s Unity Christian Flames were locked in a tight, back-and-forth battle with the Highroad Academy Knights in an all-Chilliwack championship final on Saturday afternoon at the BC High School 1A Boys Basketball Tournament at Langley Events Centre.
The Flames (the third seed) were facing the top-ranked Knights for the fifth time with Unity Christian losing all four previous matchups, including the most recent game a few weeks ago when Highroad Academy thumped them by 29 points in the Eastern Valley zone championship game. Previously, the margins of defeat had been three points (in overtime), two points and 10 points.
Bron called a timeout but rather than lecture the team about x’s and o’s or chastise them for a missed assignment, the message was to take a deep breath and play rock, paper, scissors.
“Mentally, we needed to snap out of it,” he said. “Three or four guys started smiling and then we were like ‘here’s what we have to do’.”
“You need players to make plays and they listened.”
The result was a 65-61 victory for Unity Christian and the school’s first provincial banner. For Highroad Academy it was the second straight season they found the podium wining bronze in 2019 and now silver.