Zach Taylor is one of two senior players on Isfeld’s basketball team which has qualified for the provincial tournament in Langley. File photo

Courtenay team qualifies for B.C. high school triple-A basketball championships

The Isfeld Ice senior boys basketball team has qualified for the triple-A B.C. championships.

Following a runner-up finish at North Islands, Isfeld placed fourth at the Vancouver Island triple-A championship last weekend in Ladysmith.

The Ice kicked off the tourney with a 64-55 win over Reynolds of Victoria. The boys jumped to a 38-29 lead at the half and held off many challenges in the second half. Temwa Mtawali led Isfeld with 25 points.

Sam Purcell and Quinn Roberts both scored 13.

The win set up a semi-final game against eventual tourney winner St. Michaels of Victoria. Mtawali left the game in the middle of the first quarter with a knee injury. In a hard-fought battle, the Ice lost 73-52. Roberts led the team with15 points. Owen Crouse and Amha Mulatu both had eight.

Saturday’s game against Esquimalt became the biggest game of the year, with the winner moving onto provincials and the loser going home. The Ice showed determination from the start, and built a 58-39 half-time lead.

“A great trend of this team is the ability to hold off big runs by their opponents in the second half,” coach Kent Milburn said.

The final score was 92-84 Isfeld.

Mtawali came back strong and led his team with 34 points. Purcell added 17 with his strongest game of the year, and Michael Aguilar put up 24 points and added big rebounds.

The Ice then faced host Ladysmith — whom they had beaten at North Islands — in Saturday night’s game for third and fourth. Ladysmith won, 104-82.

“However, mission accomplished,” coach Kent Milburn said. “The fourth-place finish leads to a berth in the provincial finals.”

Mtawali earned a second-team all-star selection at Islands, and Roberts earned two player-of-the-game awards. The Ice also collected the most sportsmanlike team award.

“Extra congratulations to our two seniors, Sam Purcell and Zach Taylor,” Milburn said.

The B.C. tourney is March 4-7 in Langley.

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