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

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 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

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

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’ 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

Just Posted

Revelstoke Secondary School enthralls the audience with Trap

With a twist ending that had audience members laughing, perhaps uncomfortably, the… Continue reading

Okanagan Military Tattoo returns

Performances July 28 and July 28

Caribou Rainforest book tour arrives in Revelstoke

The book is being released just when caribou have become extinct in the contiguous United States.

Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance accepting applications for art grants

Artists in all disciplines—as well as arts and culture organizations—are invited to… Continue reading

Soon-to-be-extinct caribou moved north of Revelstoke

The three caribou are currently being held in maternal pens on the westside of Lake Revelstoke

REPLAY: B.C’s best videos this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Patriots make 3rd straight Super Bowl, beat Chiefs 37-31 in OT

New England will meet L.A. Rams in NFL title game

Pettersson returns to lead Canucks to 3-2 win over Red Wings

Vancouver’s super rookie has 2 points in first game back after knee injury

Crash closes Coquihalla southbound lane south of Merritt

Accident occurred approximately 26 kilometres south of Merritt

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi was facing charges related to alleged sexual assault, criminal harassment, assault and forcible confinement of a woman

UBC Okanagan hosts gala evening of fun, art and entertainment

The annual event is celebrating its 17th anniversary

12 poisoned eagles found on Vancouver Island

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

Most Read