Harry Parmar called it a case of “men playing against boys.”
The KSS Owls’ head coach watched his team meet its match—and more—in the championship final of the Snowball Classic boys basketball tournament.
The St. Andrews Saints from Barrington, Rhode Island overwhelmed B.C.’s No. 1-ranked team 77-56 on Saturday night at Abbotsford Collegiate, ending the Owls’ 15-game winning streak.
“They had three starters who were 6-foot-8, and their athleticism was just off the charts,” Parmar said of the Saints. “They were big, tall, fast…they did everything well.
“Our compete level was there. They were just better than us.”
Point guard Mitch Goodwin had 24 points in a losing cause for the Owls, while big man, centre Braxston Bunce, managed 11 points and 11 boards in a game KSS trailed from start to finish.
It was a stark awakening for the Owls who had cruised through the first two games of the Snowball Classic with wins over G.W. Graham and W.J. Mouat, and hadn’t lost a game since early December.
On the upside, the Owls won’t have to face a team of St. Andrews’ calibre for the rest of the season in their quest for a provincial title.
Still, Parmar said his squad needs to learn from the experience and use it as a positive over the final two months of the campaign.
“It was a bit of a humbling experience for us, they were very good, but at the same time we’re not happy about it,” Parmar added. “It’s a reality check and a reminder we need to be better, both offensively and defensively. With the best teams in B.C., there’s not that much of a difference at the top, so we really need to keep improving.”
In the tournament opener, Bunce had 27 points and 10 boards in an 83-71 win over Graham. Goodwin had 22, with Buzz Truss adding 11 points.
In the semis, Goodwin racked up 37 points as the Owls rolled Mouat 88-46.
Truss had 11 points, and Bunce added 10 and 13 rebounds.
The Owls resume league action this week with games against Boucherie and Salmon Arm.
KSS will host the Western Canada Basketball Tournament Feb. 2 to 4.
Other teams competing include Pitt Meadows, Tamanawis, Kitsilano and Edmonton Harry Ainlay, the No. 1 ranked team from Alberta.