The Highland senior boys basketball team placed fifth at the AA Island championships Feb. 22-24 at St. Michaels University School in Victoria.
The squad lost 93-55 to the hosts in its opener, rebounded against Pacific Christian with a 62-57 win, then lost to Lambrick Park 88-58.
Highland entered the tournament as the number two seed from the North Island.
“They went down early to St. Michaels and were never able to take a lead,” a news release states.
Liam Walsh scored 17 points and had eight blocks in the opener. Gavin Hughes led in rebounds with seven.
The boys came together as a team to defeat Pacific Christian of Victoria, with Liam Vandervoort and Walsh leading the team. Walsh was the highest scorer with 19 points, and had 12 rebounds and eight blocks.
Against Lambrick, Highland was down to six players due to illness and prior commitments. Noah Duncan and Hughes each scored 12 points. Walsh — who had nine rebounds and eight blocks — was selected to the second all-star team.
Brentwood College won the tourney. Top three teams advance to provincials.
On a separate note, Hughes was named an all-star for league play and will participate in the all-star game next month in Victoria.
•At junior boys provincials in Langley, the Vanier Towhees opened with a tough loss to Terry Fox Secondary of Port Coquitlam. Relegated to the consolation side of the 32-team tourney, Vanier bounced back with a nail-biting win over MacNeill Secondary of Richmond.
“The win established the team’s credentials as a force to be reckoned with in the coming years,” coach Tony Edwards said.
The Towhees then lost to Mount Boucherie of Kelowna, Lord Byng of Vancouver and Guildford Park of Surrey.
St. George’s, a Vancouver private school, won the tournament.
•The Isfeld girls AA senior basketball team also competed at provincials in Langley. The girls lost three games, but beat Selkirk 67-49 for 15th in B.C.