Cougars qualify for provincials
It wasn’t the Fraser Valley Championship. But in a zone tournament that some say is more difficult than a provincial championship, placing in the top eight is just fine with the Enver Creek Cougars.
The Cougars, an honorable mention in the provincial Senior AAA boys high school basketball ranking, placed sixth at the 32-team Fraser Valley Championship tournament. But more importantly, Enver Creek will play at the B.C. championship tournament next week in Langley for just the third time in school history.
“All year long we would always be talking about our ultimate goal, and the tough sledding of the Fraser Valley,” said Cougars head coach Phil Deeks. “Of the 15 teams in the province, 10 are from the Fraser Valley.
“It’s so hard to get through the Fraser Valleys, and I’d be lying if I said our goal wasn’t just to get there (the B.C. championship).”
Six of the 10 ranked teams in the provincial rankings prior to the Fraser Valley championship tournament were from the Fraser Valley, and another four were given honorable mention. But only eight would qualify to play for a BC School Sports banner at the Langley Events Centre.
Enver Creek reached the quarterfinal round of the Fraser Valley championship, and was a win away from clinching a berth to the provincials, but they fell 97-78 to the third-ranked White Rock Christian Academy Warriors last Monday.
They drew the Gleneagle Talons on consolation play, and bounced back from their loss with a 70-48 decision at Fleetwood Park Secondary to clinch a top eight placing and a spot in Langley.
“We knew going into the Valleys, we would be in tough games,” said Deeks. “We prepared all year long by playing against some tough teams. We knew there were battles we were going to face, and we would have to find a way to win.”
Enver Creek never trailed after taking a 6-4 lead over the Talons, and were up by eight after one quarter and 11 by halftime. Gleneagle cut the difference to seven early in the third period, but were down by 14 heading into the final frame.
Gurkirat Kular led the Cougars attack with 18 points, and David Ahmad added another 13.
A berth at the B.C.’s already clinched, the Cougars won again Friday at the Langley Events Centre, defeating the Pitt Meadows Marauders Air Force 55-43, paced by 17 points from Nicholas Jhauj. They then lost 70-50 to the Sardis Falcons in the fifth/sixth place game Saturday evening, also in Langley.
Enver Creek will begin play at the B.C. Championship tournament next Tuesday at 11 a.m. against the Mt. Baker Wild of Cranbrook.
- The Tamanawis Wildcats, ranked fourth in the province prior to the Fraser Valley Championship tournament, and were knocked out the the competition Thursday night, one win short of qualifying for their second B.C. Championship tournament in as many years.
The Wildcats fell 59-39 to Pitt Meadows Thursday night at Fleetwood Park,
The Wildcats trailed 17-7 after one quarter, were down 35-14 at one point in the second quarter, and were never in the contest. Sukhjot Bains with nine points and Sukhman Sandhu with eight were the top scorers for Enver Creek.
The Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers were seeking their first trip to the provincial tournament since 1953, but also fell a game short. The Panthers went to Fleetwood Park Secondary on Thursday, needing to upend Sardis, but fell 84-70.
Paarus Sahi hit five treys and finished with 18 points, tops among Panthers scorers. Bradyn Norris scored 16 and Pavan Lehal added 15.