Tamanawis Wildcats in action Saturday night in the 4A B.C. Boys Basketball Championships final against Kelowna Owls at Langley Events Centre.

BASKETBALL: Tamanawis ‘gave it their best’ as young team earns second in B.C. hoops final

Squad of boys from Newton school drops 87-72 decision to high-flying Kelowna Owls

LANGLEY — The outcome was never seriously in doubt Saturday night as the Langley Events Centre once again hosted the BC High School Boys Basketball Championship game.

It was 14-4 five minutes in, and the underdog Tamanawis Wildcats of Surrey were, in all honesty, fortunate it was that close. The heavily favoured Kelowna Owls, ranked number one in all of BC and losers of exactly zero games all year long, had come to play.

They were quicker, they were sharper, and they seemed capable of riding their set plays and fast breaks as far as they wanted. And let’s not forget Kelowna’s not-so-secret weapon, massive power forward Grant Shephard, who would ultimately tally 31 points and an astonishing 22 rebounds in the Quad-A division final.

CLICK HERE to view photos of the action.

By halftime, the scoreboard read 50-34.

“We knew what we were up against,” said Wildcats coach Mike McKay later.

“We weren’t delusional. They are a very, very good team. We weren’t ever going to beat them in a seven-game series. We had one shot to do it and I think our guys came out a little bit nervous.”

But Tamanawis wouldn’t let the onslaught continue uncontested. Halftime adjustments helped, and the third quarter was a different story. Tamanawis forced Kelowna into errant shots, stole the ball in situations that once seemed impossible, and won tough battles under the hoop.

Led by Sagar Dulay, a force all evening, even when the chips were down, and the dangerous Miguel Tomley, who came on stronger as the night wore on and finished with 26 points and 13 rebounds, the Wildcats made their move.

With a minute left in the third, the momentum had clearly shifted, the gap had narrowed to just seven, and the pro-Tamanawis crowd was getting noisy.

“We came out hard in the second half and we cut the lead down to seven,” McKay said.

“That whole second half we kind of had them on the ropes. We were cutting it, cutting it, cutting it. But they’re full of Grade 12 players and it showed.”

Indeed, seven points was as close as the locals would get. The 87-72 final seemed like an afterthought.

There were few tears afterward.

Explained McKay, “If you would have asked us in December where I thought we’d be, I’d have thought maybe a final four in the valley and maybe a mid-seed in this tournament. To get into the final with such a young group is amazing. Our guys knew what they were in for, and gave it their best.”




Just Posted

Comic Strippers to return to Surrey’s Bell for third time

Improv-comedy show is ‘semi-dressed and completely unscripted’

UPDATE: Surrey firefighters trying to determine what caused Bridgeview propane blaze

Firefighters fought blaze at Pacific Propane Container Recycling

Expansion White Rock Whalers earn first win

New junior ‘B’ hockey team earns victory over Surrey Knights on weekend

UPDATE: Proposal to replace Surrey Knight & Day with 25-storey highrise gets early nod

Surrey council gave the application first and second reading Monday, and a public hearing is set for Oct. 1

Syrian family can, finally, feel safe

Anglican Church of the Holy Trinity White Rock meets sponsored family for the first time

B.C. tent city ‘devastated’ after flash flood

Maple Ridge mayor says that residents shouldn’t have to return to their flooded tents

Court of appeal grants injunction on Taseko’s exploratory drilling in B.C. Interior

The decision provides temporary protection and relief, said Chief Joe Alphonse

Volunteer crew ready to build ramps for B.C. amputee

Jean Moulton will soon have an easier time getting in and out of her home.

VIDEO: B.C. tour offers unique underground glimpse of generating station

About 1,250 people expected at sold-out tour on Sunday

Allegations against Kavanaugh pose test for #MeToo movement

Aside from the Ford-Kavanaugh showdown, this has been a tumultuous season for the #MeToo movement

Around the BCHL: Merritt forward Mathieu Gosselin is BCHL Player of the Week

Around the BCHL is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Parents of B.C. toddler who died in unlicensed daycare sue over negligence

‘Baby Mac’ was only 16 months old when he died in a Vancouver daycare

5 to start your day

A man charged in the death of Belgian tourist, a Syrian family feeling safe in B.C. and more

1st private moon flight passenger to invite creative guests

The Big Falcon Rocket is scheduled to make the trip in 2023, SpaceX founder Elon Musk announced at an event Monday at its headquarters near Los Angeles.

Most Read