Who else had the same feeling waking up today that you would on Christmas morning? Hot take: 4A Boys Basketball Provincials might just be the best time of the year. Yes, the BC's are in full swing, with eight epic matchups on Day 1, there was bound to be an upset...we'll get to that, though.
If you missed any of the high-flying action, we've got your game recaps below:
Belmont Bulldogs vs. Kelowna Owls
In the first game of the day, the Belmont Bulldogs showed us their sheer grit and sharp teeth by keeping up with the Birds from K-Town. After the first half, the score was nearly tied with the Owls staying ahead 29-28 over the Dogs.
But late in the second half, Belmont's Markus Modrovic went down with what appeared to be a devastating injury that would keep him on the bench for the duration of the game. The Bulldogs lost their momentum and eventually were defeated by the KSS Owls with a final score of 58-49.
Kelowna's Parker Johnstone picked up his first POG honours with 23 points and 7 rebounds.
Kitsilano Blue Demons vs. Heritage Woods Kodiaks
Remember when I mentioned there was an upset today? Well, what do you know. The Heritage Woods Kodiaks came to play with all-claws-out on the court and absolutely shut down the Kitsilano Blue Demons. At the half, they were up 39-32.
For most of the second part of the game, the Kodiaks led by a whopping 20 points over Lower Mainland's # 1 seeded team. 20 points!
Side note: this is the fourth time ever that the Heritage Woods Kodiaks (boys) have made it to Provincials. Considering they are pretty fresh to the whole scene, they played with extreme heart and soul, which definitely helped propel them to a huge win over the Demons.
With just under two minutes remaining, Kits made an attempt to come back, but ultimately it would not be enough. The Kodiaks crushed Kitsilano by a final score of 81-68, with Zach Hamed scoring an insane 25 points and 25 rebounds.
Oak Bay Bays vs. WJ Mouat Hawks
With a seemingly healthy team from Vancouver Island, the Oak Bay Bays dominated in the paint early on. The Maffia MonStars--Diego and brother Lucas--showed off their field goal skills, hitting too many 3 and 2-pointers to count in the first half.
Bays led by an incredible 30 points heading into the third; 55-25 over the Hawks.
In the third, Mouat made a climb on the scoreboard to come within 17 points (at their closest) to close out the quarter.
Those heated Hawks must have hit the on switch, though. They locked up their defence and went HAM in the paint to come within 14 points of Oak Bay. Noah Takacs went to the bench after a nasty shove by Mouat which disrupted the flow of the game slightly. Quinton Horvath stepped up to the line but was unable to find the basket for the Bays. However, Diego clapped back with 2 points at the free throw line, extending Oak Bays lead to 16.
Bays battled to stay on top and took their first win of the tournament 91-65 over the Hawks.
Lucas Maffia was named Player of the Game with 24 points; with Diego grabbing a double-double of 24 points and 10 assists.
Mount Baker Wild vs. Terry Fox Ravens
Despite the amazing effort by the Mount Baker Wild, the Terry Fox Ravens secured the bag right from tip off in the fourth game of the day. All the gears were grinding on the court in favour of Fox; Jacob Mand stole the show on offence while bigs Grady Stanyer and Cam Slaymaker were clutch on defence.
At halftime, the boys from PoCO led 63-21 over the Baker boys.
The Ravens flew higher and higher in points to close out the remaining quarters, even surpassing triple digits on the board. Terry Fox completely dominated the Wild, with a final score of 119-45.
Player of the Game went to Cameron Slaymaker, who absolutely 'slayed' with 24 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 steals.
Burnaby South Rebels vs. Walnut Grove Gators
The reigning champs are here! In the fifth game of the day, the Burnaby South Rebels--2018's BC Champions--took the court in their flashy black and yellow jerseys to take on the Walnut Grove Gators. Rebels began the match with a nice little layup, but Gators chomped back with their own, proving that they have a whole lot of grit and weren't afraid to use it.
One issue, though: Grove's star Jarrett Jacobs got into foul trouble in the opening half that allowed for South to make a gradual climb. Even without Rebels' Aidan Wilson (who suffered what appeared to be an ankle injury during the game), Burnaby was a powerhouse in the paint thanks to bigs Sasha Vujisic and Jio Khan.
Rebels were up 49-32 at half and continued to dominate from there. Even though Walnut Grove gave it all their blood, sweat, and tears, Burnaby South filled up the tank with premium and put it in overdrive to win this battle 114-84.
Baltej Sohal was named Player of the Game for his Rebels with 23 points and 6 steals,
while Vujisic hit up Tim Horton's for that double-double! He had 18 points and 16 rebounds. Sheesh!
Centennial Centaurs vs. Vancouver College Fighting Irish
Well, it's as though an upset was looming in the air for tonight's nail-biter between the Centennial Centaurs and the Vancouver College Fighting Irish. Centaurs came into this one as the underdogs (FV # 6), with Van College being the # 2 seed in the Lower Mainland. The boys from Coquitlam must have learned a thing or two from their close neighbours Heritage Woods, since they crushed the favourited Kits earlier on Day 1.
Though much of the first half went to Hunter Cruz-Dumont and the Irish, Cent didn't raise no quitters. The Boys in Blue never trailed far behind, with no more than 10 points in between them and VC at any given moment.
At the half, Fighting Irish stayed ahead 34-29.
In the remaining quarters, Van College piled up the points, with Centennial tailgating like an aggressive driver. Around the 7-minute mark of the fourth, Centaurs claimed the lead for this first time all game: 59-58. College fought back with a perfect layup, but fouled Centennial in their next possession, giving them 2 more at the FT. The little lead was short-lived; however, Centaurs kept within 1 point of the Irish up until the very end. Another foul on VC gave the Cents another shot at the free throw line where they equalized at 71 with just 30 seconds remaining. Van College held on to the ball for as long as possible, with Josh Lum-Tong smacking in a crucial layup, propelling his team up yet again.
Centennial's next possession was a dud that even gave the Irish another chance to grab two at the FT line--Gabriel Botelho was good for one.
The Coquitlam Crew needed a trey in order to take this one to overtime, and DAMN DANIEL...Leif Skelding hit it! With the score tied at 74, the Centaurs forced OT.
Five minutes came and went, with back-and-forth, fast-paced play. This epic match turned into another upset with the Captivating Centennial Centaurs stealing the show. They defeated the Vancouver Fighting Irish with a final (OT) score of 83-82.
Skelding was awarded POG for his tremendous efforts that won't soon be forgotten by his Centaur brothers. He had 23 points and 4 steals.
Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers vs. West Vancouver Highlanders
In a tightly contested game between the Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers and the West Vancouver Highlanders, both teams suited up for what would be a remarkable defensive matchup. The Kilted Killers came out strong in the first quarter, doubling their opponent on the scoreboard. But Tweeds turned it around and brought the score to 42-40 at halftime, Highlanders slightly up.
While the third saw West Van cling to the top, Tweeds essentially awoke the beast in the third and finally pounced ahead, holding just a 1-point lead over the Highlanders to close out the quarter.
In the fourth and final quarter, teams took turns jumping ahead. Actually, most of the remaining minutes were spent tied. At 65, then 67, then 69. Just under the three-minute mark saw Panthers' Alex Le smack a filthy 3 in that put Tweedsmuir at 71-69 over West Van.
But the Plaid-Point-Gods added another 3 of their own, and eventually one more at the free throw line. Tweeds' Arjun Samra sniped in a beautiful trey immediately after; though, the Highlanders answered back yet again.
With 30 seconds remaining, the game was tied at 74. Austin Swedish ran it up into the paint and put the Panthers ahead for the final time in this near overtime thriller. Elijah Devison made the rebound of his life and grabbed another 2 points after West Van fouled. Highlanders' Parsa Sadeh hit another layup; but the deficit--though small--would be too much to pull ahead.
After battling back from nearly trailing the entire game, the Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers took their first win of the BC's by 81-76. Samra was named POG with 34 points and 8 rebounds.
Holy Cross Crusaders vs. North Peace Grizzlies
In the final game of Day 1, the top-ranked Holy Cross Crusaders cruised into an early lead with a layup off the hands of Brent "the Killa" Padilla. The Cross boys never let up from there. They went on a destructive path, with the North Peace Grizzlies essentially sitting front row for the action.
Honestly, the Grizzlies did play with passion and grit as they hit a few wet threes. Despite the near 40-point deficit between them and HC, North Peace finished the first half with a buzzer beater 3 thanks to Earl Concepcion.
Crusaders were still up a monstrous 64-26.
As Holy Cross benched their stars, some unfamiliar faces took the floor and were able to smack in some fancy field goals. The Grizzlies attacked with everything they had. When the threes were flying, they were pretty much perfect. But unfortunately for North Peace, the # 1 seeded Fraser Valley boys were not only a wrecking ball in the paint, they also played completely as one--something that differentiates this close group of Crusaders from previous years.
After 40 minutes of play, the Holy Cross Crusaders crushed the North Peace Grizzlies and took home the dub by a sweet, but scary 107-67.
Uyi Ologhola snagged his first POG honours with 10 points, 4 rebounds and 4 steals--he only played 12 minutes, by the way.
If you missed any of the video highlights, check them out below! Shot and edited by Chris Evans:
Who else needs a cheeseburger and a comfy bed after all of today's epic games? This girl definitely does. But you know what? It's obviously worth the bags under our eyes. We only have three more days of BC Boys Basketball madness, so we may as well suck it up and enjoy it. Right?
Keep it locked here tomorrow for your Elite 8 game recaps. And be sure to follow along LIVE through our Instagram stories, photos, and video highlights.
Written by: Crystal Scuor