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

UBCO Heat teams unable to secure any wins against Mount Royal Cougars

The mens and womens volleyball and basketball teams went 0-4, but all have rematches Saturday night

Rockets held scoreless in loss against Red Deer

Rockets will look for some points in final game of road trip against Edmonton

New maintenance crew to look after Okanagan Connector

Acciona Infrastructure Maintenance Inc. will replace Argo Road Maintenance Inc. in 2019

Kelowna’s definitive Christmas market list

We’ve prepared a list of every market in the Central Okanagan

Your guide to winter light ups around the Okanagan

From Vernon to Summerland, with a stop in Kelowna, we’ve found some activities for you to enjoy

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

Hodge: The long road to recovery

Kelowna - The first week of recovery I was too consumed in pain to notice the lack of fluid.

Letter: Teaching children to be compassionate is never a bad thing

Kelowna - Teaching Mandarin in schools? That gets my vote.

Letter: Homeless Kelowna citizens need help now, not later

Long term solutions are needed and government has a role to play there.

Most Read