Local high school basketball teams have filled five slots in the upcoming 16-team B.C. Championships being played in Langley next week.
Erasing an eight-point deficit at half time, the Tamanawis Wildcats edged the Walnut Grove Gators 93-91 in the championship game of the Fraser Valley senior boys 4A high school basketball tournament Friday night at the Langley Events Centre (LEC).
The Wildcats will lead a contingent of five Surrey schools into the B.C. Championships, which will also be played at the LEC March 9-12.
The Holy Cross Crusaders, North Surrey Spartans and Panorama Ridge Thunder placed in the top eight at the Fraser Valley tournament, qualifying for the 16-team provincial tournament.
In the senior 2A category, the Pacific Academy Breakers placed second at the Fraser Valley championships, qualifying for the provincial tournament along with the fourth-place Delview Raiders.
In the 4A final last week, the Wildcats erased a 44-36 halftime deficit and lead 70-66 after three quarters.
Walnut Grove tied the game 91-91 with less than a minute to go, then Tamanawis guard Miguel Tomley hit one of two free throws to put the Surrey school up for good. The Grade 10 guard then stole the ball on the defensive end and again split his free throws.
Walnut Grove got two shots off in the final seconds, but neither would drop to force overtime.
Tomley earned most valuable player honours after leading the ’Cats with 35 points, including 17 in the fourth quarter alone.
The Tamanawis star missed the bulk of the first half after picking up three fouls.
“We hung close and Miguel does what Miguel does and hit a bunch of shots in the second half,” said Wildcats coach Mike McKay.
“And we did a much better job of rebounding in the second half.”
Gary Sahota (first team) and Sagar Dulay (second team) were all-star selections for Tamanawis.
Keegan Kohn of Holy Cross was a second-team all-star, leading his team to a fourth-place finish. The Crusaders lost to Tamanawis 82-78 in a semifinal match, then fell 113-92 to the W.J. Mouat Hawks of Abbotsford in a consolation game.
The Spartans defeated the Yale Lions 99-89 for fifth place, and placed Aaqib Dillon on the first all-star team. Panorama Ridge placed seventh with a 69-68 victory over the Terry Fox Ravens.
In the 2A tournament in Chilliwack, Pacific Academy was undefeated until the final, when they lost 102-93 to the host G.W. Graham Grizzlies.
The Breakers placed Daniel Adediran and Ethan Sorenson on the tournament’s first all-star team.
Delview qualified for the provincial tournament with a 96-63 victory over the Westview Wildcats of Maple Ridge. They then lost 96-88 to the Abbotsford Christian Knights to place fourth.
Bilaval Aujla and Rehman Solehria of the Raiders were second team all-stars.
– with files from Gary Ahuja.