The first matchup on the quad-A side of the tournament features two unexpected teams. Though both have worked hard to be where they are, some would say this wasn’t the semi-final they had in mind.
Nevertheless, both the Belmont Bulldogs and the Burnaby South Rebels came out strong in their first two games. They proved that any team could win at any time—a statement that seems to be the underlying motto of this year’s Provincials.
Burnaby South, who came into the tournament 8th overall, took out the 1st place Oak Bay Bays in what we deemed the upset of Day 2. While the Bays’ star guard Diego Maffia scored an amazing 43 points, it just wasn’t enough to outlast the Rebels. They pushed just a little harder than their opponents and sent them to the losing bracket.
Rebels’ head coach Mike Bell says it’s been a tough season, but his boys are here to win.
“These kids all have won at a younger age and they’ve just been dying to get back to this stage,” he said about their progress so far.
As for the Belmont Bulldogs, the team pinpointed exactly what they needed to do to send the Vancouver College Fighting Irish back to the city. Most may have underestimated this team from the island, especially since they hid in the shadow of the Oak Bay Bays coming into this tournament. But the Bulldogs have been playing like a 1st place team and understand the importance of getting to know their opponents before stepping onto the court with them.
Coach Kevin Brown says the matchup with Burnaby South was unpredictable.
“All I can tell you—and it’s not a prediction, it’s for sure—is we’ll come, we’ll play our hardest, we’ll do our best to execute our plan and we’ll see what happens. So far, that’s working, so we’ll keep doing that.”
It’s a battle of the unpredictable that you will not want to miss.
This game, however, may have been predictable. With both teams boasting a roster of bigs, it’ll be an interesting matchup to see whether the Totems or the Wildcats can take it all the way to the finals.
Semiahmoo destroyed Holy Cross by nearly 20 points to claim their spot in the Final Four. The Totems outworked their opponents by not only towering over them on D, but also by making every possession count on the scoreboard.
The team of course has a reliable set of stars that carry the ball well, yet they utilize the whole squad in order to block out their opponents in both zones.
Adam Paige was phenomenal in the key, grabbing every ball within arms length. He says he’ll do whatever it takes to get the W for his team.
The Totems will truly put their skills to the test against Miguel Tomley, aka the Tamanawis Wildcats. With all jokes aside, the Wildcats toughed it out against the Walnut Grove Gators in what arguably was the game of the day (tension-wise) on Day 2. Tomley took a few early fouls and sat on the bench for the remainder of the first half, giving the Gators a chance to dominate on the scoreboard.
Without Tomley, it may have been over for the Wildcats.
It was an intense matchup between him and fellow Drive athlete James Woods. Woods had a tremendous game for the Gators, but with just 10 seconds to go in the final quarter, he missed a critical 3 that could have tied it up and sent both teams to overtime.
Coach Mike McKay encouraged the Wildcats to slow down the pace of the game until Tomley returned, which seemed to work in their favour. He says the team will be ready for Semi, as they’ve played them four times this past season and know exactly what to expect.
“We know them really well. I think our biggest preparation is to rest and try to get healthy.”
If Tomley fouls out yet again, will Tami find a way to win this time around?
Be sure to follow all of the Day 3 action on BC Sports Hub to find out!
Written by: Crystal Scuor