From class A through AAAA, not one Vancouver team is through to the senior boys B.C. Championships semifinals tonight at the Langley Events Centre.
Four teams reached the quarterfinals, but the AAAA Kitsilano Blue Demons, AAA Lord Byng Grey Ghosts, AA St. Patrick’s Celtics and single-A West Point Grey Wolves didn’t advance to their tournament’s final four.
In the largest upset of the tournament, the No. 2 Churchill Bulldogs lost 66-54 to Surrey’s No. 15 Panorama Ridge.
In the 16-team tournament, the Fraser Valley qualified half the teams in the AAAA bracket, including the region’s seventh-overall finisher that knocked off the three-time Vancouver city champions and 2014 provincial hardware winners.
Head coach Rick Lopez said he was crushed for the seniors who have been with the winning program since they broke out as juniors four years ago.
“Just wasn’t our night,” he said. “Bad timing to have an off night and play a stinker. I really feel for the Grade 12s. I love those kids and know how hard they have worked.”
Never seeming to wake up for the Wednesday evening game, the Bulldogs didn’t look like themselves and trailed from the outset. They had an early call time the next morning when their consolation game tipped off at 8:30 a.m. They beat Cowichan 81-65 and on Friday morning, they defeated North Surrey 70-51.
They play the St. George’s Saints at 6:30 p.m. Saturday for ninth place.
The Kitsilano Blue Demons advanced from the opening round with a 62-50 win over North Surrey and played the Tamanawis Wildcats in the quarterfinal Thursday.
The No. 6 Demons had a 36-34 halftime lead over the No. 3 seed, but came up short down the stretch and lost 78-70.
They were leading 28-21 in the second quarter when play-maker Howard Wang went down holding his left ankle and didn’t return.
Diallo Oballa had 17 rebounds and five blocks in the loss. Arian Tabrizi added 22 points and Luka Lizdek put up a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
The Blue Demons played Panorama Ridge Friday morning and came out with an 81-59 win. They play at 4:45 p.m. Saturday for fifth overall.
As the third-place Lower Mainland team, the St. George’s Saints were seeded eighth overall and lost 78-66 to No. 9 Holy Cross in the first round Wednesday. Jacob Van Stanten had 15 points, 18 rebounds and six blocks in the loss. Guard Jon Mikhlin, who transferred to the private school from Richmond high school for his Grade 11 year, put up 15 points.
The Saints meet Churchill Friday night in a battle for ninth in B.C.
In the AAAA semifinals tonight, Tamanawis plays W.J. Mouat, and Walnut Grove attempts to dethrone the undefeated Kelowna Owls.
The Lord Byng Grey Ghosts have a bright future and count a full roster of returning Grade 11 and 10 players, including six-foot-seven Nathan Bromige who can play inside and out. This year, however, their tournament ended in the semifinals to the top Fraser Valley team, Abbotsford’s Rick Hansen Hurricanes.
Lord Byng led 31-26 at the half on the power of Bromige’s blocking – he had five, plus nine rebounds – and a string of outside shots from Peter Chae, who didn’t just fade on his jumpers but tended to fall on the floor for a back roll, who led all players with 27 points. Declan Herbertson, another six-foot-seven Grade 11, was reliable in the key and had 10 points by the end of the night.
Let down by a dismal 20 per cent free throw shooting percentage in the second half, the Grey Ghosts slowly fell behind despite the Hurricanes putting themselves in foul trouble. They sunk three of 15 from the line compared to Rick Hansen’s 10 of 13 in the second half.
With two minutes on the clock, the crafty Hansen side led by six points and the Ghosts could not scare out enough baskets. The final score was 62-56.
Lord Byng plays Robert Bateman at 8:15 p.m. tonight and a win would put them in contention for Saturday’s fifth-place game.
In tonight’s AAA semifinals, Southridge plays St. Thomas More, and the Steveston-London Sharks play the Hurricanes.
The St. Patrick’s Celtics entered the B.C. Championships with optimism they could take on the larger teams that towered over their five-foot-eight average height. Against Victoria’s St. Michael’s Blue Jags, whose shortest player is listed the same as the Celtics’ tallest – six-foot – the difference was crucial.
The Jags had 40 offensive rebounds from nine different players, including 14 from Lucas De Vries, and put back 34 points on second chances. Although the Celtics capitalized in the second quarter and took a brief lead, holding the Jags to nine points, they couldn’t keep up the defensive momentum and scored only 20 points in the second half. They were hurt by 19 per cent shooting from the field and only a trio of treys from outside.
Daniel David led his team with 21 points. Josh Dabu had 10, and Matthew Agustin brought in five rebounds.
The Celtics play St. Thomas Aquinas at 3:30 p.m. today for a chance to advance to the fifth-place game.
In tonight’s AA semifinals, St. Michael’s plays G.W. Graham and Lambrick Park squares off against Collingwood.
The West Point Grey Academy Wolves, seeded second in the single-A tournament, was upset in the semifinal by No. 7 Ron Pettigrew Christian from Dawson Creek in a 68-56 loss.
The Lions played only five players and got double digits from four of them, including 18 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks from Francis Obeta.
The Wolves climbed as far ahead as a three-point advantage in the first quarter as the lead changed hands five times but they trailed by five at the half and were outscored in the third and fourth quarters.
In the loss, Tom Sato-O’hearn had 16 points and nine rebounds. Gurshaan Dhillon added 11 points and 13 boards.
The Wolves play Osoyoos at at 6:45 p.m. Friday in an attempt to advance to the fifth-place game.
Ron Pettigrew plays St. Ann’s Academy in one A-class semifinal tonight while Credo Christian and Kelowna Christian battle for righteous supremacy in the second semi.