Historic win by Wildcats

Sukhjot Bains (25) shoots over the reach of a Gleneagle Talons opponent during the championship game of the Fraser Valley Senior 4A boys basketball tournament. Bains was the tournament MVP. - GARY AHUJA / BLACK PRESS
Sukhjot Bains (25) shoots over the reach of a Gleneagle Talons opponent during the championship game of the Fraser Valley Senior 4A boys basketball tournament. Bains was the tournament MVP.
— image credit: GARY AHUJA / BLACK PRESS

The Tamanawis Wildcats have ended one 33-year drought for  senior boys basketball in Surrey.

Now they have a chance to bring an end to another.

The Wildcats defeated the Gleneagle Talons of Coquitlam 86-79 in overtime Saturday night at the Langley Events Centre (LEC) in the championship game of the Fraser Valley Senior 4A championship.

Not since the 1981 North Surrey Spartans has a public school in Surrey won a Fraser Valley boys high school basketball championship at the highest level. That North Surrey team went on to win the B.C. championship, which is also the last time a public school from Surrey has won a provincial banner.

Tamanawis will get a chance to end that streak at the 2014 B.C. championship tournament March 12-15, also at the LEC.

Sukhjot Bains was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, after netting a game-high 43 points in the championship game. Parm Bains, who sunk a three-point shot with three seconds to play to force overtime, and Wildcats teammate Sukhman Sandhu were second-team all-stars.

This will be the fourth appearance by the Wildcats at the top-level provincial tournament, their most recent appearance in 2012. Tamanawis has never placed in the top eight.

Tamanawis, the top-ranked team in the province, was one of two Surrey schools to advance to the Senior 4A provincial tournament. The third-ranked Holy Cross Crusaders will also play in the B.C. championship tournament, their first ever at the 4A level.

In the third place game, the Holy Cross Crusaders fell 66-65 to the Walnut Grove Gators. The Crusaders, a senior 2A team in terms of student population, placed fourth and has also qualified for the provincial tournament.

“It didn’t go the way we wanted,” said Crusaders head coach Matt Lechasseur of the fourth place finish. “But we learned a lot about teams we will play at the provincials. We have to stay focused for four quarters, and if we do that, we’ll be fine.”

At the Langley Events Centre, they dropped two close games – also losing a semifinal game by a 69-58 score to Tamanawis – but placed Jon Kongbo on the Fraser Valley first all-star team and Jauquin Bennett-Boire on the second squad.

n The Fleetwood Park Dragons placed second at the Fraser Valley Senior AAA tournament, and has earned a berth to the provincial championships, also March 12-15 in Langley.

Fleetwood Park dropped an 82-67 decision to the Abbotsford Panthers Saturday night at Columbia Bible College in Abbotsford. Both teams had won three consecutive games to get to the Fraser Valley championship game, and were the top two teams in the tournament. Abbotsford was atop the BC Boys Basketball Association provincial poll, with Fleetwood Park ranked fourth.

“In the championship game we started poorly and they shot the ball very well,” said Dragons head coach Nick Day. “We were down 22 points at the half, and cut the deficit to 10 with 7:30 left in the game but did not have enough at the end.”

Armaan Khangura with 16 points and Kevin Alexandrov with 13 were the top scorers for Fleetwood Park.  Khanguara and Emeka Okuma, a pair of grade 11s, were the two Dragons named to the first all-star team. Alexandrov, a Grade 12 guard, was a second-team choice.

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