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

Surrey council approves free two-hour parking at city hall, around hospital

Although council gave its blessing to offer the free parking Monday (Nov. 19), it was already made free last week

Surrey School District says it needs 7 new schools in next decade

Surrey council endorsed the district’s 2019-20 capital plan on Monday, Nov. 19

Surrey Fire Service to provide non-emergency dispatch services for Port Moody

It’s said the move will bring in more than $9,000 a year for the City of Surrey

Second person dies following head-on collision in Surrey

Paige Nagata of Abbotsford was in crash on Nov. 4 that also killed Sarah Dhillon

Man still in hospital after struck by car in Surrey last week

The man was airlifted to hospital with “potential life-threatening” injuries after the incident

White Rock pier light show

Dancing lights highlighted off the water front

Laine scores 3 as Jets double Canucks 6-3

Injury-riddled Vancouver side drops sixth in a row

Deportation averted for Putin critic who feared return to Russia

Elena Musikhina, a vocal critic of the Kremlin, has been granted a two-year visitor’s permit in Canada

B.C. to allow Uber-style ride hailing services to operate in late 2019

Fee will be applied to fund options for disabled people

Auditor general takes aim at Liberals’ fighter-jet plan

Suditor general Michael Ferguson is about to release a new report on Canada’s attempts to buy new fighter jets

B.C. couple converts ambulance into a traveling home

The Revelstoke couple plan on touring B.C. ski hills then driving to Mexico

Cyclist defecates, throws own poop at car following B.C. crash

Man defecates in the street before throwing it at a driver locked in her vehicle

11 years sought for Burnaby man who killed girlfriend with hammer, burned her body

Manslaughter sentencing hearing started Monday in Chilliwack for Ryan Armstrong

Jamie Koe, other curlers kicked out of bonspiel for being too drunk

‘You don’t kick around other players’ bags, it’s disrespectful and we expect better of our players’

Most Read