Game 1: 3:30pm - Holy Cross Crusaders vs. Semiahmoo Totems
The first game of the day features two dominant teams who have had one hell of a season.
The Holy Cross Crusaders came into this tournament as the 14th seed, but don’t let that fool you. These boys utilize their speed and agility around their opponents. Despite their height difference in comparison to most of the other teams in the tournament, the Crusaders lay it all out on the floor and play with every bit of heart. If Cross can play their best basketball in today’s game, we may just be seeing them in the Final Four.
Coach Matt LeChasseur says the team will look over game tape, like they always do, and have a solid plan in motion to prepare for the Totems.
“Hopefully we execute and play our game and let the chips fall where they may,” he said about the matchup.
Semiahmoo came out strong in the first round, fully relying on their bigs Adam Paige and Vlad Maihaila. Both will be a challenge for Holy Cross, as they hone the ability to own the paint.
They are consistent on the court and know how to pressure their opponents. If they can outrun the Crusaders top line, they may be able to stand tall, once again, and move on to the semis.
Game 2: 5:15pm – Burnaby South Rebels vs. Oak Bay Bays
The second game of the day hosts two teams that play a very different style of basketball.
Burnaby South came into this tournament with a duty to redeem their early season loss to Lord Tweedsmuir. They defeated the Panthers by a whopping 20 points to find their place in the quarterfinals.
The Rebels boasts a batch of seniors that can move the ball well in transition and have an easy time shooting beyond the arc. Their size and height definitely gives them an advantage over their smaller opponent.
However, what the Oak Bay Bays may lack in size, they make up for in sheer skill. Take a look at their line-up. The Bays’ stars Diego Maffia and Riley Cronk can put up big numbers on their own, but without them on the court, the team has a deep bench and can hold their own.
These island boys all had a shot to play in their first round and dominated the floor. By giving each player a turn, the Bays proved that their team is full of athletes who don’t need to rely on their keys to win a game.
Riley Cronk is optimistic about today’s matchup and says they’ll be one to watch throughout the tournament, too.
“If we’re shooting well, I think we’ll be a tough team to beat.”
Game 3: 6:45pm – Tamanawis Wildcats vs. Walnut Grove Gators
In the third game of the day, the ever so mighty Tamanawis Wildcats will duke it out against the Walnut Grove Gators.
Grove had an intense matchup in their first round versus St. George’s. The Gators looked as though they would fall, but somehow picked it up in the third and fourth quarters to secure a win over the Saints. It was a heart pounding game to watch and head coach Reid Taylor was full of emotion following the big win.
He recognized that Tamanawis and one of their star players will be an even bigger hurdle for his boys.
“They’re a very good team and obviously Tomley—it goes without saying—he’s a great player. We have to shut him down,” said Taylor.
The Wildcats played their first round with half the speed we’re used to seeing. While they usually rely heavily on Miguel Tomley, he seemed to save his strength for the tougher games to come. The team played like a full team, something we’re not always used to watching in heated matchups.
Tamanawis’ top scorers play with absolute ease—a skill that tends to intimidate those around them.
Jeevan Sidhu isn’t worried about today’s matchup. He's confident that the Wildcats will be etched on the schedule for Saturday’s championship game.
Game 4: 8:15pm – Belmont Bulldogs vs. Vancouver College Fighting Irish
The final game of the day may not be exactly what most people would have expected.
The Belmont Bulldogs had a phenomenal first round win against the W.J. Mouat Hawks in order to take on the Vancouver College Fighting Saints tonight.
Bulldogs' head coach Kevin Brown says the team prepared all year by battling a pretty strong schedule. They’re used to the big guys and know how to hold their own, something they proved in the first round. Belmont focused on their opponent’s key players and completely shut them down.
If the team can analyze Van College in the same way, they may just have another upset of the day under their belt in this tournament.
The Fighting Irish also pulled off a difficult win to get to the quarterfinals. Their first game against the Terry Fox Ravens was a very back-and-forth game, which nearly had the team fighting for air.
Vancouver College’s Jack Cruz-Dumont played it safe and conserved his energy on the floor, even giving his little brother a chance on the court as he kept the bench warm for the team.
Cruz-Dumont says even though the Fighting Irish beat the Bulldogs earlier in the year, they’re not a team to overlook anymore.
“They’re a good team. They’ve been playing really well lately and obviously they beat a top team—Mouat—so it’s not going to be easy.”
If all the pieces can come together, the Saints may just find themselves in the Final Four.
Stay tuned for today’s game recaps following each matchup!
Written by: Crystal Scuor