In finishing third, the Heritage Christian School senior boys admittedly weren’t on top of their game at the Okanagan Valley championship.
Two weeks later in Langley, the Saints saved their best basketball for when it mattered most, securing the school’s first ever B.C. high school A boys title.
HCS went undefeated in four games at the Langley Events Centre, locking up the provincial crown with a 65-53 victory over Bulkley Valley Christian in Saturday’s final.
Your 2018 1A High School Basketball Tournament Champions, the Heritage Christian Saints. pic.twitter.com/RvsX7LSOFJ
— BC 1A Boys BBall (@BC1ABoysBBall) March 10, 2018
“Right from the get-go this year, we set a goal to win the whole thing,” said Knights’ head coach Colton Tripke. “We weren’t going to take anything less than winning it all, the players all really stepped up and got it done.”
The Saints’ Isaac Opuama was named the championship MVP, while Raymond Barrett was awarded top defensive player honours. Sam Bell and Joshua Weekes were both named to the tournament’s all-star team.
The fourth-seeded Saints took care of business from the opening tip-off at provincials, beating Golden 91-37, defeating Khalsa 88-58, and downing Credo Christian 67-50 to advance to the final.
Tripke said it was clear from the first minutes of the tournament that his team was focused and ready to leave it all on the court.
“Being just relentless for 40 minutes,” Tripke said of the key to the Saints’ success. “We’re a good defensive team and it really showed with the way we played. Everybody was built to run 40 minutes and everybody played a role.
“Everything was clicking,” he added. “Our outside shooting game was really good, we hardly missed any threes. The guys really came to play.”
Tripke, a former Saints player a decade ago, never made it to provincials with HCS. In fact, no Saints team had ever been to the B.C. championship prior to last year.
Now, with back-to-back appearances at the big dance—punctuated with a gold medal in 2018—Tripke said the accomplishments of the small Kelowna school are nothing short of impressive. There are fewer than 100 students enrolled in Grades 10 to 12 at HCS.
“This is huge to see where the school has come,” said Tripke. “To be such a small school and produce some credible teams and players has been great to see.
“It’s nice to see these guys have success,” he added, ”a lot of them have been together since Grade 7, so there’s a lot of chemistry there.”
The Kelowna Christian Knights defeated Khalsa School 82-76 to finish in fifth place overall. Tyler Jardine and Jackson Borne of the Knights were both named tournament all-stars.
Voodoos at 4A provincials…
The Rutland Voodoos went 1-3 to place 14th overall at the B.C. AAAA boys finals in Langley.
The Voodoos, who upset KSS to win the Okanagan title last month, earned their lone victory over North Peace 77-69.
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