Wildcats win a pair
A strong start and a good finish.
It was the two games in between which cost the Tamanawis Wildcats at the B.C. boys Senior AAA high school basketball championship at the Langley Events Centre last week.
Tamanawis won a first round game Wednesday, and a consolation contest Saturday. But two losses to rivals from the Fraser Valley zone knocked the Surrey school down to a 10th place finish at the 20-team tournament.
“In the top 10, anyone can beat anyone on any give day,” said Wildcats head coach Surinder Grewal. “In the end, it comes down to who worked the hardest.
“We played well and I was happy with our performance. We just got beat twice. And it was nice to win our last game.”
The Wildcats closed out the tournament with a 66-60 victory Saturday morning over the W.J. Mouat Hawks in a game that saw 13 lead changes and neither team pull ahead by more than seven points.
Shivi Viria topped all scorers with 18 points, with Manny Dulay netting 10.
Tamanawis began the tournament with a 67-50 win Wednesday night over the Carson Graham Eagles.
Tamanawis, ranked seventh in the province, led 30-28 over the unranked Eagles, but blew the game open in the third quarter. They held Carson Graham to just six points and built their lead to 49-34 with 10 minutes to play.
Ravjot Dhaliwal was the high scorer for the Wildcats with 22 points, also adding nine rebounds. Sukhjot Bains contributed 13 points and six rebounds, with Manny Dulay scoring 10 points and a team-high 11 rebounds.
The Wildcats took to the court for their quarterfinal game against the White Rock Christian Academy Warriors Thursday afternoon, facing a team they had beaten three of four times since Christmas
But the Wildcats were outworked by WRCA in the latter part of the third quarter, and lost 75-65. Leading 43-37 at halftime, the Warriors didn’t falter after Tamanawis started strong after the break and tied the contest 48-48 six minutes into the second half.
Jake Newman of the Warriors knocked down a trey seconds after Tamanawis drew even, sparking White Rock Christian to a 21-5 run that led to a 16-point lead midway through the fourth quarter, and The WIldcats didn’t challenge after that.
The Wildcats chipped away, but the Warriors always had an answer.
Manny Dulay hit a trey with 50 seconds left to cut the different to nine points, then drained another with a half-minute to go to pull Tamanawis to within seven at 72-65. It was the closest they got.
The Warriors did what they needed in the last minute, hitting their foul shots. They went four-for-six, and while allowing the Wildcats to cut into the lead, White Rock Christian was never in danger of losing it.
“White Rock was a little hungrier. They played a great game,” said Grewal. “They kept hitting their shots.”
Dulay finished the 26 points, including six on 16 attempts from behind the three-point line. Sukhjot Bains with 13 points and Ravjot Dhaliwal with 12 also scored in double figures for the Wildcats. Dhaliwal also had a game-high 10 rebounds.
Out of the championship chase, Tamanawis could have finished fifth with a pair of wins. But against the Pitt Meadows Marauders Friday morning, they were outgunned in a 65-38 loss.
“Our energy was off,” said Grewal. “We wanted the provincial championship, and when that was gone, it was hard to wake up and play another game.”
The Wildcats started well, leading 16-10 after the first quarter. But they scored just four points in the next period and trailed by 14 at half time and 52-30 at three-quarter time.
Dhaliwal was the top scorer with 11 points, while Dulay snared 11 rebounds.