Sports

Tamanawis clinches berth to B.C.’s

Ravjot Dhaliwal (21) of the Tamanawis WIldcats and Jake Newman of the White Rock Christian Academy Warriors go up for the ball during a recent Fraser Valley South West game. Tamanawis has qualified for the B.C. Championship tournament later this month in Langley. - GORD GOBLE / CONTRIBUTOR
Ravjot Dhaliwal (21) of the Tamanawis WIldcats and Jake Newman of the White Rock Christian Academy Warriors go up for the ball during a recent Fraser Valley South West game. Tamanawis has qualified for the B.C. Championship tournament later this month in Langley.
— image credit: GORD GOBLE / CONTRIBUTOR

For the third time in four years, the Tamanawis Wildcats have qualified for the B.C. Boys High School Basketball Championships.

The Wildcats have advanced to the semifinal round of the Fraser Valley Senior AAA playoff tournament, assuring themselves of a top four finish. Seven teams from the Fraser Valley zone qualify for the 20-team provincial tournament.

Tamanawis clinched their trip to the provincial finals with a 60-51 win over the White Rock Christian Academy Warriors Monday night, a game played in their opponents gym.

“It’s been a funny couple of weeks,” said Wildcats coach Surinder Grewal. “It was nice to get a win, and as far as I know, it’s the first time Tamanawis has ever won a game at White Rock.”

It was a measure of revenge for the Wildcats, a team which was undefeated in 13 league and playoff games in the Fraser Valley South West league before losing the championship game 60-58 to the Warriors at Tamanawis Secondary.

“A few things happened in the league game,” said Grewal. “One of our starters was out with a mild concussion, and it changed my rotation and how I move players in and out of the game. And we ran into foul trouble.

“This week, we were healthy and stayed out of foul trouble. Everyone played, and played well.”

Manny Dulay paced Tamanawis with 20 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Sukhjot Bains added 16 points and five rebounds, while Ravjot Dhaliwal contributed with a strong defensive game.

The Wildcats will tip-off against the Pitt Meadows Marauders in the first of two semifinal games tomorrow (Friday) at 6 p.m. at the Langley Events Centre.

The Terry Fox Ravens face the Walnut Grove Gators in the other semifinal. The winners play at 7:45 p.m. Saturday in the championship game, the losers are on the court at 6 p.m. to determine third and fourth place.

Grewal admits resting some players is tempting, but added the Wildcats will play to win.

“It’s nice to stay healthy, but one of our goals at the start of the year was to win the Fraser Valley tournament,” he said. “All four teams remaining will want to win two more games, and get the best seeding possible at the B.C. tournament.”

n Three other local schools are two wins away from advancing to the March 13-17 B.C. tournament at the Langley Events Centre, all tipping off in games today (Thursday) at Fleetwood Park Secondary. The losers of today’s four consolation games are eliminated, the winners will play twice more looking for one more victory to clinch a top seven placing.

The North Delta Huskies face the South Delta Sun Devils at 2:30 p.m. in a battle of two Fraser Valley South West league rivals. The Huskies defeated South Delta 68-56 in a league playoff contest Feb. 15, and went on to place third in the 11-team group.

The Enver Creek Cougars face the Yale Lions at 6 p.m. tonight. Enver Creek placed second in the Fraser Valley Central league, then went on to win the playoff tournament with a 79-69 triumph over the first place Princess Margaret Lions.

Yale was third in the Fraser Valley East zone playoff.

Princess Margaret will play in tonight’s fourth game at 7:45 p.m. against  White Rock Christian.

Today’s four winners play each other in two consolation games at 2:30 and 4:15 p.m. tomorrow. The winners clinch a berth to the provincial tournament and play for fifth and sixth place at 4:15 p.m. Saturday, the losers play for the seventh and final B.C. berth at 2:30 p.m.

All games Friday and Saturday are at the Langley Events Centre.

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