Crusaders prevail over hosts at Kelowna showcase

The Crusaders made an undefeated run against a superb field of teams to win the Interior Savings Western Canada Basketball Invitational in Kelowna, but their biggest test eluded them.

The defending B.C. champion Walnut Grove Gators were seeded number one, but were upended in the semifinals by Kelowna, denying the Crusaders a chance to test themselves against one of the best teams in the province.

The Kelowna event featured top teams from Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan plus a smattering of ranked squads from among the top of the B.C. pecking order.

“There were a lot of good teams there so it’s definitely a confidence booster to have

success in a tournament like that,” said Crusaders coach Matt LeChasseur. “Hopefully we can build off this when the playoffs start this week.”

The Crusaders opened the tourney by beating Regina’s Balfour Collegiate 96-72. Joaquin Bennett-Boire led the way with 23 points while Taylor Browne and Henry Maduabueke helped out with 20 and 19, respectively.

Next up for fourth ranked Holy Cross was the Burnaby South Rebels in the semifinals. Maduabueke had a huge game with 21 points, but the Crusaders needed a buzzer-beating three pointer from Browne at the end to escape with a 69-66 win.

With the host Kelowna Owls pulling off the upset of the Gators in the other semifinal, the championship final was standing room only on Saturday night.

“They haven’t won their tournament in a while so they were really jacked,” LeChasseur said. “The place was packed and there was a really great atmosphere. Kelowna played really well but they had trouble matching up with us.”

Holy Cross seized control of the contest in the second quarter where they outscored the Owls 16-9 to take a 36-30 lead into the break. The Crusaders padded their lead in the third frame before cruising to a 76-64 win.

Bennett-Boire was the top marksman for Holy Cross with 26 points and four assists while Maduabueke chipped in with 21.

“We were treating this tournament as our last opportunity for prepping for playoffs and the guys responded well,” LeChasseur said. “Winning this tournament meant a lot in terms of coming together as a group. We’ve been trying to focus on that and we want to make sure we’re playing at our peak at this time of the year. We worked well as a unit and ran our set plays well so it was a good weekend for us. The guys are buying into it and we’re seeing the results as well.”

Browne, Maduabueke and Bennett-Boire were all named to the tournament all-star team while LeChasseur singled out Bright Dododza and Alex Asperin for their contributions throughout the weekend.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Walnut Grove’s Shawn Meehan (front) has started another band, Trigger Mafia. This local country rocker has put country on the shelf, and is going hard-core rock with this group, releasing their first single last Friday to radio. It started as a way to pass the time during the COVID lockdown, and evolved. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Langley musician drives rock revival with COVID twist

Trigger Mafia goes straight from the garage to radio with raw lyrics

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Teachers, staff should be included in contact tracing: Surrey Teachers’ Association president

STA says there is also ‘no harm in going even further’ with a mask mandate

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Five Surrey schools reporting COVID-19 exposures

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

The peninsula’s Community Christmas Day Dinner at White Rock Baptist Church – seen here in 2019 – has been cancelled for 2020, because of pandemic-inspired limitations on gatherings. (File photo)
Annual Community Christmas dinner ‘just not possible’ this year

Organizers vow that 40 years-plus Semiahmoo Peninsula tradition will return, post-COVID

Strawberry Hill Hall is being renovated and moved to another location on its existing corner lot in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zillich)
Surrey’s historic Strawberry Hill Hall being moved a few metres in $1.2M reno project

Childcare spaces coming to corner lot where hall has stood for 111 years

A woman wears a face mask and plastic gloves while browsing books as a sticker on the floor indicates a one-way direction of travel between shelves of books at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch, after it and four other branches reopened with limited services, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
B.C. reports 234 new COVID cases, 1 death of senior who had attended small birthday party

Roughly 5,700 people are isolating due to being exposed to a confirmed case

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks Thursday (Oct. 29) during a news conference held at Fraser Health office, in video posted to Facebook. (Photo: Government of British Columbai/Facebook)
COVID-19 ‘disproportionately’ affecting Fraser Health: Henry

Health region has about 75 per cent of B.C.’s active cases

Burnaby RCMP responded to a dine-and-dash suspect who fell through a ceiling in March 2020. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Suspected dine-and-dasher falls through ceiling of Burnaby restaurant

A woman believed to be dashing on her restaurant bill fell through the kitchen ceiling

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A can of Canada Dry Ginger Ale is shown in Toronto on Thursday Oct. 29, 2020. The maker of Canada Dry Ginger Ale has agreed to pay over $200,000 to settle a class-action lawsuit launched by a B.C. man who alleged he was misled by marketing suggesting the soda had medicinal benefits. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Joseph O’Connal
B.C. man’s lawsuit over marketing of Canada Dry ginger ale settled for $200K

Soda’s maker, Canada Dry Mott’s Inc., denied the allegations and any liability

Vancouver Island-based Wilson’s Transportation has expanded to fill some of the routes left unserviced by Greyhound as of Nov. 1, 2018. (Black Press files)
B.C. bus companies say they need help to survive COVID-19

Like airlines, motor coaches have lost most of their revenue

A deer was spotted in October 2020 in Prince Rupert, B.C., with a bright pink yoga ball stuck in its antlers. (Kayla Vickers/Chronicles Of Hammy The Deer Official Page)
Hammy 2.0? Prince Rupert deer spotted with bright pink yoga ball stuck in antlers

The BC Conservation Officer Service is aware of the deer roaming around the city

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna Mountie hit with 2nd lawsuit in 2 months for alleged assault

Const. Julius Prommer is accused of breaking a woman’s knee during while responding to a noise complaint

Hirdeypal Batth, 24, has been charged with sexual assault and forcible confinement in relation to an incident in August 2020. (VPD handout)
Man, 24, charged with sex assault after allegedly posing as Uber driver in Vancouver

Investigators believe there could be more victims outside of the Vancouver area

Most Read