Dragons’ title dreams torched by early loss

A stunning first round loss by the Fleetwood Park Dragons at the 2014 B.C. Senior Boys 3A Basketball Championships didn’t sting quite as much when the final standings were posted Saturday night.

Ranked among the elite teams in the province all season, the third-seeded Dragons’ championship dreams turned into a nightmare when they were upset 52-51 by Prince Rupert’s unheralded 14th seeded Charles Hayes Rainmakers the first game of the tournament Wednesday morning.

Three days later, the loss wasn’t quite the upset it seemed at the time as the Rainmakers advanced all the way to the championship final before losing to Burnaby’s St. Thomas More Knights.

“They are a good team and we expected a tough game from them,” said Fleetwood Park coach Nick Day. “We weren’t surprised that they were a good team. The rankings didn’t mean anything in 3A this year because it’s hard to seed when all the teams have not played each other. Some teams played a lot of games against 4A teams while others, nobody knew much about them.

“The problem for us wasn’t taking Hayes lightly; the issue was we didn’t shoot very well. We shot 28 per cent from the floor in that game when we usually average 44 per cent.”

Kevin Alexandrov was the top point getter for Fleetwood in the loss. Emeka Okuma chipped in with 11.

The Dragons bounced back in their next game to beat Richmond’s R.A. McMath 51-49.

Okuma led the way for the Dragons with 17 points and was named the player of the game. Alexandrov helped out the cause with eight points.

The Dragons lost their footing again in their third match and dropped a 62-53 decision to Maple Ridge.

Jordan Mendiola and John Tusi each scored a dozen points for Fleetwood in the loss.

Fleetwood Park closed out the tourney with a 93-47 romp over Nanaimo in Saturday’s 10th place game. Guard Akash Grewal was named the player of the game for the Dragons.

“Overall we had a very good year,” Day said. “We were ranked in the top four for 3A teams all season and we beat a lot of 4A teams as well. We had a good year, but we didn’t get the ending we wanted.”