The fervor and frenetic season of B.C. boys basketball is nearing its end.
Over the weekend, the valley championships for senior boys within the Okanagan took place, as numerous teams fought for berths in the biggest tournament in the province, the provincial championships.
Starting with the A boys, it was a romp to the valley title for Kelowna’s Aberdeen Hall Gryphons, who won each of their games by double digits.
They headed into the tournament as the top-ranked team, and flexed their muscles early, defeating the Desert Sands Rams out of Ashcroft 90-48, before crushing the Vernon Christian Royals 92-57. In the final, the Gryphons defeated St. Ann’s Academy Crusaders of Kamloops 92-62 to punch their ticket to the provincial tournament taking place in Langley next weekend.
Soren Crumb was named tournament MVP, while Kyler Assam and Andrew Isa were named all-stars from the Gryphons. The Crusaders out of Kamloops will also be heading to provincials, as will the Similkameen Sparks, who grabbed the final Okanagan berth. The Gryphons are expected to get a top-four seed into the 16 team tournament.
In AA action, two provincial spots were up for grabs, as Summerland hosted the eight-team valley playoff. The Westsyde Whundas of Kamloops, ranked first, defeated South Okanagan in their first game to advance to the semifinals, as did the Summerland Rockets (ranked second), Kalamalka Lakers (third) and Merritt Panthers (fifth).
Summerland and Westsyde showcased why they were the best teams in the Okanagan by defeating their opponents in the semis to set up a final between the two. There, the home crowd seemed to stir on the Rockets, as they upset the Whundas 71-62. Both teams will be heading to Langley for provincials.
Vernon’s Fulton Maroons finished third and could have challenged Westsyde for the second spot as the two teams did not play each other in the tournament. Fulton, however, declined the challenge game.
The AAA zone tournament features just five teams, and a sole spot available for provincials.
Vernon Secondary and W.L Seaton were the first two teams eliminated, leaving all Kamloops teams to fight out for the single spot. In the final, South Kamloops defeated Valleyview to advance to the B.C. tournament.
Finally, in the AAAA valley’s, six teams battled for one elusive provincial berth. The KSS Owls, ranked sixth provincially, entered the tournament ranked first in the Okanagan. They defeated the OKM Huskies in their opener to advance to the finals. While the Salmon Arm Golds were ranked second, they were upset by the Rutland Voodoos in the semifinals. KSS then would dispatch the Voodoos 90-66 in the final to claim the provincial berth.
All levels of the sr. boys provincial tournaments will take place at the Langley Events Centre from March 8-11. The 16-team brackets will be revealed on Sunday. Visit bchighschoolbasketballchampionships.com for more information.