Top sports stories of 2016: Owls soar to first B.C. boys hoops title

A powerhouse in B.C. basketball, the Owls secure the school's first provincial title in March in Langley

The KSS Owls won the school's first ever B.C. boys 4A basketball title in 2016.

Favoured to win it all from the season’s opening tip-off, the KSS Owls didn’t disappoint in 2016.

Considered by many in the provincial basketball community as one of the best teams ever assembled, the Owls claimed the school’s first ever B.C. 4A boys title in March at the Langley Events Centre.

KSS, which went 26-0 against provincial opponents in 2015-16, put the icing on the cake with an 87-72 victory over the Tamanawis Wildcats in the gold medal final.

Graduating senior Nav Sandhu said for the Owls, only one outcome in 2016 would have been acceptable.

“From the start, we were focused on going all the way, accomplishing one thing, and if we didn’t do that, we were going to consider the whole season a bust,” said Sandhu, one of six graduating players on the KSS roster.

“Winning provincials was really the only thing that mattered and any other wins we had, just saw as part of the legacy.

Tournament MVP Grant Shephard, Parker Simson and Mason Bourcier were all named to the tournament’s all-star team, while Simson added the top defensive player award.

As much as pure talent weighed in Kelowna’s favour, head coach Harry Parmar said the Owls’ success at provincials—as it did all season—came down to hard work and a unified team effort.

“The boys worked really hard on defense and they worked hard all year,” said Parmar, whose team also won the Interior Savings Western Canada tournament for the second time.

“They played unselfish basketball, they played for each other and they were rewarded for it.”

For Parmar, who is now in his 1oth season as head coach of the Owls, winning the B.C. title was further validation that the program is headed in the right direction.

“It’s been a long haul, so it feels good, it’s nice to know what we’re doing here is working,” said Parmar.

“There’s a great foundation now at KSS, we’ve added some more wins to the program and I think the future is bright.”

Earlier in the season, KSS also won the Western Canada Basketball Tournament in Kelowna for the second straight year.

The Owls defeated the second-ranked Sir Winston Churchill Bulldogs 84-71 in front of 2,000 fans at KSS.

“The expectations were definitely there and there was some pressure on the boys, but they handled it very well,” Parmar said.