Crusaders off to Kamloops

Taylor Brown (right) of the Holy Cross Crusaders was named the Most Valuable Player at the Fraser Valley Championship tournament. The Crusaders will be at the B.C. Championship tournament next week in Kamloops. - EVAN SEAL / THE LEADER
Taylor Brown (right) of the Holy Cross Crusaders was named the Most Valuable Player at the Fraser Valley Championship tournament. The Crusaders will be at the B.C. Championship tournament next week in Kamloops.
— image credit: EVAN SEAL / THE LEADER

The number one team in the province had no trouble qualifying for the B.C. Senior AA boys high school basketball championship tournament in Kamloops.

Needing a top three finish at the Fraser Valley championship tournament, the Holy Cross Crusaders breezed past three opponents to place first.

The Crusaders brushed aside the Mission Roadrunners 67-32 in a quarterfinal game Feb. 16, easily handled the Southridge Storm 80-48 in last Thursday’s semifinal game at D.W. Poppy Secondary, then returned to the Langley school Saturday night where they topped the Archbishop Carney Stars 80-53 to claim the Fraser Valley championship banner.

Henry Maduabueke led the Crusaders with 15 points in the final, with Aaron Madaisky adding 14, Brandon Pereira netting 12 and Taylor Brown scoring 10. Brown was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, while Maduabueke and Madaisky were first-team all-stars.

The Crusaders will have their eyes on the B.C. championship banner in Kamloops next week, where they will open the tournament Wednesday against the unranked Charles Hayes Hurricanes of Prince Rupert.

“We’re looking forward to it,” said Crusaders coach Matt Lechasseur of the Mar. 6-9 tournament. “The kids are excited about it.”

- The Delview Raiders are also going to the Senior AA provincial tournament, after defeating Southridge 61-57 in a playoff for third place at the Fraser Valley tournament, and the last berth to Kamloops.

The Raiders finished second to Holy Cross in the Fraser Valley West league, but upset the Fraser Valley East champion G.W. Graham Grizzlies 90-74 in the first round of the zone tournament.

After a 73-65 loss to Archbishop Carney, Delview defeated Mission 57-53 in a consolation game to advance to Saturday’s match with Southridge for the final Fraser Valley berth to the provincial tournament.

Delview will play the Lower Mainland zone champion RC Palmer Griffins of Richmond in the first round. The Griffins are ranked fifth in the province.

- Three Surrey high school teams will tip-off today in games at Fleetwood Park Secondary, and will qualify for the B.C. Senior AAA championship tournament March 12-16 at the Langley Events Centre in Langley.

But for the Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers, Enver Creek Cougars or Tamanawis Wildcats, a loss would mean the end of their respective seasons.

All three games are part of the Fraser Valley Senior AAA championship tournament, and the trio of local schools was eliminated from championship contention after losses in Monday’s qualifying round.

The Wildcats, ranked fourth in a B.C. Boys Basketball Association poll, were expected to challenge for a Fraser Valley championship but were upset on their home court by a score of 72-40 by the 10th-ranked W.J. Mouat Hawks.

Tamanawis will face the eighth-ranked Pitt Meadows Marauders today at 7:45 p.m.

Both Enver Creek and Lord Tweedsmuir are given honorable mention in the latest provincial polls, and face unranked opposition in their games. The Cougars, who lost 97-78 to the third-ranked White Rock Christian Academy Warriors,  will be seeking a win over the Gleneagle Talons at 6 p.m.

The Panthers fell to the top-ranked Walnut Grove Gators 87-50 on Monday, and will need a win today at 2:30 p.m. against the Sardis Falcons.

The winners of the four games today at Fleetwood, as well as the four teams which qualified Monday, will playoff Friday and Saturday at the Langley Events Centre to determine first through eighth place.

All eight teams will have qualified for the provincial tournament.

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