Knights claim home tourney

Kelowna Christian’s Ethan Klukas (left) and Kai McGrath put the squeeze on Langley Christian’s Adrian Dykstra during the Knights Invitational Basketball Tournament on Saturday at KCS. - Sean Connor/Capital News
Kelowna Christian’s Ethan Klukas (left) and Kai McGrath put the squeeze on Langley Christian’s Adrian Dykstra during the Knights Invitational Basketball Tournament on Saturday at KCS.
— image credit: Sean Connor/Capital News

A first-place showing at their home tournament has boosted the Kelowna Christian Knights back into the No. 1 spot in the B.C. A boys basketball rankings.

The previously second-ranked KCS squad took down the local rival and top-ranked Immaculata Mustangs 76-59 in the final of the Knights Invitational on Saturday night.

The Mustangs were undermanned due to injuries to a pair of key players. Starting point guard Dario Gini suffered a season-ending knee injury earlier this month, while the 6-foot-9 Alex Hart has a broken wrist.

Brendan Rempel paced the Knights attack in the final with 30 points, while Simon Benson had 17 points, including five three-pointers, and 14 rebounds.

“All the boys saw court time and it was a championship effort by every one,” said Knights head coach Gib Hinz.  “A terrific total team effort all weekend.”

The Knights opened the tournament with a season-high point output in a 119-67 win over Heritage Christian.

Connor Loewen and Ryan Linttell scored 19 points each in the win.

In the semifinal, Kai McGrath scored 18 points as KCS downed Langley Christian 90-58.

The depleted Mustangs battled through their adversity to win their first two games of the tournament. On Friday, Immaculata downed Golden 71-38. In Saturday’s semifinal, the Mustangs took out ninth-ranked Keremeos 77-69.

“I was very very happy with our weekend,” said Mustangs coach Dino Gini. “I could not ask for anymore effort from the boys, played there hearts out.”

The Knights and Mustangs will meet again Feb. 2 in Okanagan Valley league action.

OKM junior boys…

The OKM Huskies Grade 8 boys basketball squad was unstoppable at a tournament hosted last weekend by St. Ann’s Ann’s Academy in Kamloops.

The Huskies capped off a 4-0 showing at the tourney with a 45-36 win Saturday over the South Kamloops Titans.

OKM’s leading point producers were Michael Gargaro (9), Connor Mitchell (7) and Emman Sandhu (6).

The Huskies opened the tournament Friday with a 63-23 win over Brocklehurst. Seven players had five points or more, including Colin Patterson, Klein Felt and Adam Murray who each scored six. a

In Game 2, Moises Blandon scored 21 points as OKM dumped St. Ann’s 54-30.

In their third game, Hayden Carlson and Logan Morris scored eight points each in a 46-14 win over Coquihalla of Merritt.

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