Enver wins cat fight

Enver Creek Cougar Zoravar Sandhu (right) tries to block the shot of White Rock Christian Academy’s Tyus Allen (left) in Saturday’s Junior boys final at the Surrey RCMP Classic.  White Rock won 58-33.   - BOAZ JOSEPH / THE LEADER
Enver Creek Cougar Zoravar Sandhu (right) tries to block the shot of White Rock Christian Academy’s Tyus Allen (left) in Saturday’s Junior boys final at the Surrey RCMP Classic. White Rock won 58-33.
— image credit: BOAZ JOSEPH / THE LEADER

The Senior boys championship game of the 20th annual Surrey RCMP Classic was one unlike most others.

The 10-time tournament champion White Rock Christian Academy Warriors didn’t get past the quarterfinal round, the Tamanawis Wildcats qualified for their first-ever final, and – for a change – the contest was in doubt for most of the night.

In the end, the host school prevailed. The Enver Creek Cougars stopped the tournament favourite Wildcats 55-51 in a defensive struggle Saturday night.

“It was a good, exciting game,” said Rick Inrig, who doubled as the co-chair of the organizing committee and as head coach of the Cougars.

“It wasn’t a blowout game, where people can’t get excited. It was pretty electric.”

The four-point difference matched the closest in tournament history, a 57-53 victory by White Rock Christian over the Cougars in 2003. The Warriors won the last three RCMP titles, doing so by an average of 33 points per game.

“Basically, it was a four-point game all along,” said Inrig. “We were fortunate to pull ahead by seven late in the game, before they hit a three-pointer at the buzzer.”

Parvez Jhaj led the Cougars with 16 points, with game MVP Marc Mincieli netting 11. Perry Samra and Vikash Pillai added nine each.

Gagan Sahota topped the Wildcats offence with 16 points, a total which Inrig said could have been higher if not for the defensive efforts of Samra.

“Perry did an outstanding job on Gagan, he held him to one three-pointer,” said Inrig. “They (Tamanawis) had a three-fest the night before.”

Sehaj Thind with 13 points and Manny Dulay with 12 also scored in double figures for Tamanawis.

Enver Creek edged the Fleetwood Park Dragons in an exciting semifinal match Friday night, students from both schools filling the gym to enthusiastically cheer their teams on.

Tamanawis, a team ranked seventh in the province, had no trouble getting by the Clayton Heights Night Riders 66-46 in the other semifinal contest.

Jhaj earned the tournament’s Most Valuable Player award, while Mincieli and Pillai of the Cougars were first-team all-star selections. Other first-team choices were Sahota and Dulay of the Wildcats, and Mitch Robertson of Clayton Heights.

Ravjot Dhaliwal of Tamanawis, Harp Grewal of the Fleetwood Park Dragons, Jake Newman of White Rock Christian, Diljot Pannu of the Queen Elizabeth Royals and Colin Soares of the Pacific Academy Breakers comprised the second team. Martin Owusu of Pacific Academy was the Most Inspirational Player.

White Rock Christian won the Junior boys tournament title, stopping Enver Creek 58-33 in the final Saturday afternoon. Tyus Allen of the Warriors was the tournament MVP.

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