After receiving a surprisingly low seeding, the Delview Raiders are more than happy with a second place finish at the B.C. Boys Senior AA High School Basketball Tournament.
The North Delta school lost Saturday’s championship game at the Langley Events Centre (LEC), falling 66-40 to the St. Michael’s University (SMU) Blue Jags. But as head coach Vladimir Nikic points out, “we won second place.”
The Raiders were ranked second in the province prior to the Fraser Valley championship tournament, but they stumbled in the first game before recovering to win three in a row to place third. They were seeded 11th for the B.C. Championship tournament, and given a difficult path to the final game.
“We were ranked top-eight all season long, it was very surprising to us to be ranked so low at the beginning of the tournament,” said Nikic. The Fraser Valley is by far the toughest basketball region in B.C. and we always knew that we are much better than the 11th seed.”
The Raiders began their run at the LEC with an 87-52 win over the sixth-seed Kwalikum Kondors, with Wowie Untalan netting 36 points for the winners. Biaval Aujla added another 23.
Ranveer Palie and Arshdeep Saran scored 17 each, Aujla tallied 16 and Untalan contributed 14 in an 81-66 win over Fraser Valley rival Langley Christian Lightning in Thursday’s quarterfinal round.
They then upended the tournament’s second-seed, the Southridge Storm, 81-79 in a close game Friday night.
The run ended in the final, as the Blue Jags cruised to a win while the Raiders struggled.
“The difference in the championship game was our shooting percentage, inability to run in the open court, and turnovers,” said Nikic. “SMU had an excellent game plan and they executed it even better.”
Untalan was the top scorer for the Raiders in the final, scoring 15 points with Rehman Soehria adding 11. Untalan was named to the tournament’s first all-star team, with Saran chosen to the second team.
“I am very proud of my players and what they have achieved,” said Nikic. “Many people in the basketball community underestimated us, I am very happy that we have proven them wrong.”