Vanier Towhees ninth at BC AAA championships

Basketball team wins three of four games at provincials

After losing their opener, Vanier’s senior boys basketball team won its next three games to place ninth and win the consolation bracket at the triple-A B.C. Championships March 6-9 in Langley.

The 10th-seeded Towhees lost 86-71 to number seven seed Rick Hansen Secondary of Abbotsford, but rebounded with victories over Reynolds of Victoria (53-52), No. 3 seed Pitt Meadows (65-61) and No. 8 seed Byrne Creek of Burnaby (74-65). The latter had been ranked number one in the province early in the season.

“Our boys shocked them early with a 10-2 run,” coach Larry Street said. “The 2-3 zone was hard to penetrate with Vanier’s big boys jamming the key and every Towhee contesting all of Byrne’s three-point shots.”

By quarter time, the Towhees were down 14-16. The second quarter was back-and-forth, then Vanier made a 10-point run and led 34-24 at the half. In the second half, Vanier maintained its lead even though Byrne, through a full-court press, created some tense moments. But the Towhees scored some easy baskets and led 53-43 at three-quarters time.

“The last quarter was much the same where all the Towhees got to play and close out their fine season,” Street said.

The Towhees — largely a Grade 11 team — won 28 games and lost 11 this season.

Isfeld also competed at the triple-A tournament, finishing 14th overall.

The 16th-seeded Ice drew top seed Charles Tupper in their first game. The Courtenay side out-rebounded their Vancouver opponent 40-32 for the game, but lost 78-53.

In the second round against Byrne Creek, Isfeld was again stronger in the rebound department but came out on the losing end, 81-67.

In round three, Isfeld beat the 13th-ranked Caledonia Kermodes of Terrace 67-61 in a tough, physical battle. For the third straight game, Thaskani Mtawali had a “double double” with 13 boards and 11 points, coach Tom Elwood said.

A knee injury kept Mtawali out of the final game — a tough 60-58 loss to Reynolds.

“Typical of the Ice, as they had done all year, people stepped up and filled in the gap, both scoring and rebounding,” Elwood said.

On the season, Isfeld posted a 31-8 record. The Ice won the regular season North Island title, and won five exhibition tournaments.

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