Their first season competing at the AA level in B.C. high school boys basketball turned out to be an unqualified success for the Kelowna Christian Knights.
The provincial A champions for four of the last five years, the Knights added a B.C. AA title to the school’s trophy case with a 58-47 victory over Brentwood College in the final on Saturday night in Kamloops.
Tournament MVP Drew Schulz netted 17 points and eight rebounds for KCS, while Daniel Seinen added 12 points and seven boards for the Knights who bounced back from a slow start in the championship final.
KCS fell behind early, but took over the game with a huge second quarter which saw them outscore Brentwood 21-5 to take an 11-point lead into halftime.
The Knights, who moved up from the A to AA designation this season to face some stiffer competition, went undefeated through zones, valleys and the provincial playoffs.
Eva Linttell, in her first season as head coach, said the Knights’ success as a team was largely due to the players’ commitment to one another, on and off the court.
“Our team core values are brotherhood, selflessness, integrity, respect and persistence,” said Linttell. “The players played well together because they trust each other and play with their core values in mind.”
Drew Schulz, who was the tournament’s MVP, was also named to the tournament’s first all-star team along with Ryan Linttell. Ethan Klukas of the Knights received an honourable mention.
In the semifinals, the Knights downed Holy Cross 67-54. Linttell had 21 points and eight rebounds, while Klukas had 14 points and six boards.
KCS opened the tournament with a 106-67 over L.V. Rogers as Linttell scored 20 points and Klukas added 19. Connor Loewen had 16 points and 14 rebounds.
In Game 2, Eric Langlois scored 21 points as KCS took care of Collingwood 89-46.
The B.C. AA champions are Jordan Hass, Ethan Klukas, Ryan Linttell, Daniel Seinen, Connor Loewen, Austin Neufeld, Isaac Grimes, Eric Langlois, Bryce Mathews, Drew Schulz, Solomon Benson, Owen Klukas and Javin Davis.
The Knights will return to the provincial A designation next seaso