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Ravens fall to Gators in tourney tuneup
Terry Fox secondary is the place to be this week to see some of the province’s best in high school basketball.
“There will be some really good matchups each day,” said Ravens coach Steve Hanson, pointing out the Legal Beagle tournament features “Ten teams that have all been ranked in the top 10 at some point.”
In addition to No. 8-ranked Terry Fox, this week’s Legal Beagle tourney also features the province’s top two ranked teams — Walnut Grove Gators and Gleneagle Talons — as well as the Burnaby South Rebels (No. 5), W.J. Mouat Hawks (No. 9) and Holy Cross Crusaders (No. 10) along with Vancouver College Fighting Irish and Kelowna Owls who are threatening to crack the top 10.
“One thing we say every year is no matter what team you are you’re guaranteed three really tough games,” said Hanson.
The Ravens got a preview of this week’s action when they headed to Langley to take on the Gators Saturday, losing 67-64.
Terry Fox jumped out to a 19-4 lead after the first quarter and were up by 10 at the half.
“Since the Christmas break our focus has been on having better starts and setting a defensive tone for the game,” said Hanson. “I think we’ve kind of played a little loosey-goosey on the defensive end for the first month of the season. We haven’t had any trouble scoring but we just haven’t been getting stops when we need them.”
The Ravens got into foul trouble in the second half, with five players picking up four fouls and three of those players fouling out.
“Liam Hancock, one of our Grade 11 players who’s probably our most consistent scorer, he was probably on the bench for over half the game so that really hurt us,” said Hanson.
The Gators jumped out to a lead midway through the fourth quarter and managed to hang on in the contest that saw the lead swing back and forth in the closing minutes.
“I think our guys realized that they can play with any team in the province,” said Hanson. “With the top 10 teams, there’s not a lot that separates them so it just comes down to good possessions at the end of the game.”
The Gators were without last year’s provincial MVP Jadon Cohee with an injured ankle while Raven power forward Mike West was in Texas playing football for Team BC.
“He’s just such a huge rebounder, he scores, he pretty much does everything. He’s just a big presence, especially on the defensive end,” said Hanson.
The Ravens earlier got past the Delta Pacers 78-52.
“I thought that was probably our most complete game of the season offensively and defensively,” said Hanson. “With Mike being away, [Grade 12 forward] Brad Peters got a lot of minutes and he’s really shined getting that extra time. He does a lot without scoring and he’s been a real bright spot for us.”
Gleneagle came up just short in a 71-68 loss to the Sardis Falcons Saturday.
“It went back and forth. It was a highly competitive game for two teams that hadn’t played for a while,” said Talons coach Tony Scott. “Both teams were trying to execute and they just did a better job of doing it.”
Scott said the team was off its game defensively and didn’t apply the type of consistent pressure they normally do.
“But it’s to be expected, I mean you haven’t done anything for a week or so and then you’re just trying to get back into it,” said Scott, who singled out Grant Galbraith and Brenden Bailey for their play. “It was really good to play a team of that calibre because they’re going to be one of the top Fraser Valley teams.”
The Talons entered the game coming off a 77-33 win over Maple Ridge and are now primed for the Legal Beagle tournament over at Fox.
“They’ve got some really top-notch teams in there so no matter what side of the draw we end up on they’re going to be really good games,” said Scott.