BC boys 1A championship final, March 10 at Langley Events Centre Bulkley Valley Christian Royals vs Heritage Christian Saints Greg Laychak Black Press Saints’ Sam Bell

VIDEO: Saints stymie Royals’ big man, march to school’s first provincial title

Kelowna’s Heritage Christian defeats Smithers’ Bulkley Valley Christian in boys 1A provincial final at Langley Events Centre

One thing was certain, the Heritage Christian Saints did not want to experience last year’s pain.

In 2017, the small Kelowna school lost in the provincial semifinals, before rebounding to claim the bronze medal, a school-first.

And on Saturday, they one-upped that achievement, as the No. 4 seed knocked off the No. 6 Bulkley Valley Royals 65-53 in the gold-medal game of the BC boys 1A provincial finals at the Langley Events Centre.

The Saints led virtually from start to finish, with the Royals only leading for 16 seconds and the score tied for just eight seconds.

“We had the experience from last year and we didn’t want to feel that same pain,” said Saints coach Colton Tripke.

“We didn’t want to be in that same place so we had to work harder.”

Heritage Christian had to contend with the Royals’ Saymon Loki, who picked up the most valuable player award after averaging more than 35 points per game in the championships.

And after a monster 44-point and 21-rebound effort in the semifinals, the six-foot-five forward was ‘held’ to 31 points and 24 rebounds in the finals.

“He is a great player, we knew he was going to score,” Tripke said.

“We ran out of gas. We played our five starters hard,” said Royals’ coach Chris Steenhof.

With Loki such a presence in the paint, the Saints relied upon their outside shooting, scoring just 14 of their 65 points in the paint. The bulk of the damage was done from beyond the arc as 12 of their 22 field goals were three-pointers.

Sam Bell led the way with six three-pointers and 22 points while Ben Robideau had 12 points, all of which came from beyond the arc.

Bell was a first team all-star while Joshua Weekes, who had four points, five rebounds and six assists, was a second team selection.

Heritage Christian also had a balanced attack with 15 points from Raymond Barrett and another dozen from Isaac Opuama.

“Our inside game is good but we needed that outside game going for us.,” Tripke said.

Steenhof said the Saints played Loki different than any other team all season with quick double teams.

“They are a very, very athletic team and they adjusted very quickly,” he said. “Their athleticism hurt us because they made very quick decisions and we didn’t counter.”

Bulkley Valley Christian’s Nathan Steenhof scored 16 points and was named a second team all-star.

The Royals had a tough shooting night, hitting just two of 20 three-point attempts and shot 28.4 per cent overall.

But despite the loss, the Bulkley Valley coach was thrilled with his team’s silver lining to their season.

“We overachieved this season in many ways,” he said. “Before this game, I told them no matter what, this was a victory for us.”

The championship adds to the rich basketball tradition in Kelowna.

“They have worked so hard all year for this,” Tripke said. “(And) for a small school that has four kids per grade, it just great to see.”

The Saints’ Isiah Akurienne was named the player of the game.



sports@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

BC boys 1A championship final, March 10 at Langley Events Centre Bulkley Valley Christian Royals vs Heritage Christian Saints Greg Laychak Black Press Saints’ Joshua Weekes

BC boys 1A championship final, March 10 at Langley Events Centre Bulkley Valley Christian Royals vs Heritage Christian Saints Greg Laychak Black Press

BC boys 1A championship final, March 10 at Langley Events Centre Bulkley Valley Christian Royals vs Heritage Christian Saints Greg Laychak Black Press Saints’ Ben Robideau Royals’ Noah Delege

BC boys 1A championship final, March 10 at Langley Events Centre Bulkley Valley Christian Royals vs Heritage Christian Saints Greg Laychak Black Press Saints’ Joshua Weekes

BC boys 1A championship final, March 10 at Langley Events Centre Bulkley Valley Christian Royals vs Heritage Christian Saints Greg Laychak Black Press Saints’ Ben Robideau

BC boys 1A championship final, March 10 at Langley Events Centre Bulkley Valley Christian Royals vs Heritage Christian Saints Greg Laychak Black Press Royals’ Noah Delege

BC boys 1A championship final, March 10 at Langley Events Centre Bulkley Valley Christian Royals vs Heritage Christian Saints Greg Laychak Black Press Royals’ Nathan Steenhoff Saints’ Isiah Akurienne

BC boys 1A championship final, March 10 at Langley Events Centre Bulkley Valley Christian Royals vs Heritage Christian Saints Greg Laychak Black Press Saints’ Ben Robideau Royals’ Jordan Monn

BC boys 1A championship final, March 10 at Langley Events Centre Bulkley Valley Christian Royals vs Heritage Christian Saints Greg Laychak Black Press Royals’ Saymon Loki

BC boys 1A championship final, March 10 at Langley Events Centre Bulkley Valley Christian Royals vs Heritage Christian Saints Greg Laychak Black Press Royals’ Noah Delege

BC boys 1A championship final, March 10 at Langley Events Centre Bulkley Valley Christian Royals vs Heritage Christian Saints Greg Laychak Black Press Royals’ Brett Groot

Just Posted

Wrestlers invade Kelowna and Vernon

Wrestling events this weekend benefit numerous Okanagan charities

Kelowna gallery exhibition features relic-like art

Immaculate Deception, by Penticton artist Johann Wessels, will be displayed until July

Blood donations saved Kelowna boy’s life

Cancer survivor Carter Milaney received multiple blood transfusions and a bone marrow transplant

Kelowna RCMP apprehend suspect in downtown bank robbery

The suspect faces potential criminal charges after the Bank of Nova Scotia was robbed Monday.

Study to be conducted for B.C. wine centre

The feasibility study will involve stakeholder engagement with wineries throughout B.C.

Peppa Pig draws a crowd

Okanagan toddlers squirming with excitement over Peppa Pig

Penticton Speedway cleaning up landslide

Owner Johnny Aantjes expects the slide to be cleaned up in time for the next race on Sunday

New acts join Roots and Blues Festival lineup

An eclectic mix of musicians added to Salmon Arm’s slate

Fighting racism is society’s job

BC Hockey’s plan to provide an education package makes a good first step

Proclaimers walk through the Okanagan

The Proclaimers play Vernon Sept. 11. Tickets on sale now through the Ticket Seller

Doctor sees healing power in psychedelic plant as Peru investigates death of B.C. man

Peru’s attorney general has ordered the arrest of two suspects in the killing of 41-year-old Sebastian Woodroffe

Toronto police officer ‘gave himself the space and time’ in van attack

Footage shows officer standing up, turning off his siren and talking clearly to the suspect

$1.18 to $1.58 a litre: Are you paying the most for gas in B.C.?

Gas prices across B.C. vary, with lowest in Vernon and highest in – you guessed it – Metro Vancouver

Glass Tiger rocks the Okanagan

Tickets go on sale April 27

Most Read