The Isfeld Ice returned from a successful B.C. 3A high school boys basketball championships with a 2-2 record, identical to last year. The March 11-14 event was held at the Langley Events Centre.
In their opening round game Isfeld faced a much taller Charles Hays Rainmakers from Prince Rupert. After trailing 16-13 at the end of the first quarter the Ice were outscored 22-11 in the second.
Had it not been for a tough-shooting second quarter, Isfeld would have been even closer to the Rainmakers, but they lost 62-49. Davis Malton led all scorers with 15 points on 5-for-9 three-point shooting while Nic Xylinas added 11 and Noah Kaefer chipped in with 12. Xylinas was the team's leading rebounder with 11.
In game number two Isfeld faced a tough, quick McNair Marlins team from Richmond. After being down just seven in the first half (38-34) the Ice ran out of gas and lost 77-58. "The struggle against McNair was rebounding," said Isfeld coach Tom Elwood.
"Whereas the night before against Charles Hays we out-rebounded the taller Rainmakers 43-40, McNair owned the glass in this one, out-rebounding us 47-34. Of those 47 rebounds, 20 came on the offensive glass. That lack of defensive rebounding proved to be too much to overcome," Elwood said. Xylinas and Kaefer led the team with 28 points each.
After an evening of soul searching and an early morning practice to correct the issues from the day before, the Ice faced a tough, physical and much bigger LV Rogers from Nelson. Playing with a renewed commitment to the defensive glass, the Ice out-rebounded the Bombers 38-30 and won 60-52.
Malton led the team in rebounding with 10 and added 14 points for his first double-double at the 16-team tournament. Xylinas and Kaefer each scored 22. This win set up a Saturday showdown with the upset-minded Dawson Creek Penguins. The previous night Dawson Creek had dismantled Fraser Valley #4 Charles Best 77-48.
After a poor-shooting first half in which the Ice found themselves down 27-24 and out-rebounded 22-15, Isfeld staged a third-quarter rally, outscoring the Penguins 14-6 and grabbing a five-point lead.
In the fourth quarter the Ice continued their hard work on the glass and with timely shot making beat Dawson Creek 55-42. In the second half the Ice held the Penguins to 15 points and kept them off the glass by out-rebounding them 22-11.
Isfeld finished 22-11 for the season with their second straight trip to the 3A provincials. After struggling before the winter break with a 3-3 record, the Ice closed out the season by going 19-8.
– Isfeld Ice Basketball