Sports

BasketBlog: Live from the 2014 Snowball Classic

MEI point guard Mitch Krahn protects the ball against Girece Kazumba of the Father Henry Carr Crusaders on Thursday evening at the Snowball Classic. - Dan Kinvig
MEI point guard Mitch Krahn protects the ball against Girece Kazumba of the Father Henry Carr Crusaders on Thursday evening at the Snowball Classic.
— image credit: Dan Kinvig

The Snowball Classic senior boys basketball tournament is running all day Thursday at Abbotsford Senior Secondary. Abbotsford News sports editor Dan Kinvig will be updating this page with live updates throughout the day.

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10:00 p.m. – Thirteen hours, seven games, 4,609 words and four cinnamon buns later, we've come to the end of an epic Thursday at the Snowball Classic.

Friday's semifinals feature the Yale Lions vs. the Sardis Falcons at 6 p.m., followed by the Father Henry Carr Crusaders vs. the Burnaby South Rebels at 8 p.m. The BasketBlog won't be there for those games, but it will be back for Saturday's final, which tips off at 8 p.m. Hope to see you there.

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9:55 p.m. – The Crusaders' defensive performance in the second half left MEI head coach Jon Schmidt shaking his head.

"It was just too much for us to keep up to that speed for 40 minutes – but we did it for 20," he said with a wry grin, conceding that Henry Carr wore his team down in the second half.

The lopsided final score aside, though, Schmidt believes this game will be a great growth experience for his squad, which isn't likely to see that level of physical defence in B.C. this season.

"It's a great opportunity for us to learn and get better against that type of pressure defence," he said. "We've got to get stronger and more powerful with the ball."

Crusaders coach Paul Melnik noted that he's got a young team on his hands, and as such, the defensive rotations aren't always as crisp as they should be. At halftime, he drove that point home to his troops, with a special emphasis on shutting down Josiah Allison and Mitch Krahn. Those players had combined for 32 points in the first half but managed just nine in the second, and Melnik was pleased with how his group kept MEI on one side of the floor and prevented them from swinging the ball from side to side.

"They had far more quality shots in the first half," he noted. "If you give quality shooters like that those kind of looks, they're going to hit them."

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9:50 p.m. – The stats first, then some quotes from the coaches. The Crusaders showcased a balanced attack led by Anthony McNish (17 points), Grant Audu (16) and Kyle LeFave (15). It's worth noting that McNish and Audu are both in Grade 10 – very impressive performances from the youngsters.

MEI's top scorers were Josiah Allison (24) and Mitch Krahn (17).

*****

9:45 p.m. – Crusaders forward Tristan Thompson punctuated the blowout with another dunk. Final score is Henry Carr 94, MEI 60. Stats to come.

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9:35 p.m. – Josiah Allison and Mitch Krahn deserve all the credit in the world for keeping this game close in the first half, but Father Henry Carr has proven to be way too strong in the second.

And by strong, I'm talking about their toughness and physicality on defence, which is to a degree that's similar to the American teams we've seen at the Snowball over the years. They're just crazy, crazy tough, and their defence has simply worn the Eagles down.

The score is 87-55 with three minutes to go in the fourth quarter.

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9:25 p.m. – Henry Carr's "HC" logo on the back of their jerseys is modelled after the North Carolina Tar Heels "NC" logo. Kinda cool.

In other news, about half of the lights in the gym were inadvertently flicked off during play, and I would be remiss if I didn't suggest that the Crusaders are shooting the lights out. They've pushed the lead up to 20 points at 68-48 at the end of the third quarter.

*****

9:12 p.m. – DUNK ALERT, and yes, that deserved all caps. Anthony McNish, in transition, came swooping down the lane and threw down a vicious one-hander, more or less right on an MEI player whose identity I neglected to note because I was so excited about the cram itself.

The dunk punctuated the fact that this game is suddenly starting to border on a blowout. The Crusaders, sparked by their aggressive trapping defence, have opened the third quarter on a 14-1 run and lead 55-37 midway through the frame. Very impressive stuff from the Ontarians.

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9:05 p.m. – A bit of a digression now, as I've tracked down the stats from the Abby-Sardis game. The final score was 83-68 in favour of the Falcons, who got 34 points from their outstanding 6'7" centre Hayden Lejeune and 25 points from Eric Rogers.

The Panthers have a phenom of their own in 6'4" football/basketball stud Chase Claypool, and he led his team with 26 points. Senior forward Sirban Gill chipped in with 14 for Abby.

Now, back to Henry Carr vs. MEI – the third quarter is about to start.

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8:55 p.m. – You've got to give this MEI Eagles squad a ton of credit. In their second game of the day, they're legitimately pushing the Father Henry Carr Crusaders, the No. 4-ranked high school team in Canada according to northpolehoops.com. Carr's lead is a modest 41-36 at halftime.

The Eagles owe their contention in this game to Josiah Allison and Mitch Krahn, who are absolutely carrying the team offensively. Allison was phenomenal in the first half, racking up 18 points. Krahn, meanwhile, has been raining down threes – his 14 points in the first half included four triples.

Anthony McNish, Carr's precocious 6'3" Grade 10 forward, is leading his team with 14 points at the break. It's going to be an excellent second half.

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8:30 p.m. – OK, I'm back on this blog thing. In my absence, Sardis knocked off Abby Senior to advance to Friday's semifinals. I'm working on tracking down a few stats from that one.

"Our boys played really hard, but they're good," Panthers coach Prentice Lenz said of the Falcons. "Their top three kids are just fantastic."

The late game between Henry Carr and MEI is well underway, and the Eagles are giving the highly touted Crusaders a run for their money – they trail 21-16 late in the first quarter.

*****

6:44 p.m. – Whatever Prentice Lenz said in that last timeout, it worked. Abby finished the first quarter on an 8-2 run and had a shot to tie it up, but Luke Tompkins's three-pointer rimmed out at the buzzer. It's 18-15 for Sardis heading into the second Q.

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6:40 p.m. – The Sardis Falcons have raced out to an early lead over the host Panthers, forcing head coach Prentice Lenz to call timeout. It's 16-7 with 2:05 left in the first quarter.

On a side note, this blog is going quiet between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. because I'm attending an Abbotsford Sports Hall of Fame selection committee meeting. Unfortunate timing, as I'd really love to watch this Abby-Sardis game in its entirety, but the sports hall of fame is a worthwhile time investment.

The last quarter-final of the night features the Father Henry Carr Crusaders of Etobicoke, Ont. taking on the MEI Eagles. Tip-off is at 8:15 p.m.

*****

6:09 p.m. – 91-65 is the final, Yale over Mouat.

The Lions got 19 points from their uber-athletic swingman Sasha Otanga, who picked up player of the game honours, and 15 apiece from Riley Braich, Jassi Gill and Patrick Vandervelden.

Corey Hauck was tremendous all day for Mouat, scoring 25 in a win over St. George's in the morning and matching that total vs. Yale. But for him to carry the team to two wins in five hours was perhaps a bit much to ask, with Tristan Etienne unavailable due to injury and the Lions' breakneck pace capable of wearing down good teams at the best of times.

Arsh Gill (11 points) was the only other Mouat player to score in double figures.

Up next we've got the host Abby Senior Panthers (ranked No. 2 in AAA) taking on the Sardis Falcons (No. 8 in AAAA).

*****

5:56 p.m. – With Yale up by 25 points midway through the fourth quarter, I was chatting with Abby Senior coach Prentice Lenz when Lions point guard Jassi Gill hoisted a deeeeeep three-pointer.

"That's almost Marek Klassen distance," noted Lenz, alluding to the former Yale point guard who is one of the all-time Snowball greats.

Indeed, none of us who were in the gym for the 2009 and 2010 Snowball finals will ever forget the ridiculously deep treys that Klassen hit en route to back-to-back tourney MVP awards. He scored 34 points in a victory over Rufus King of Milwaukee in '09, and trumped that with a 40-point outburst vs. Our Saviour New American from New York in '10.

Nor does Klassen forget the Snowball, where he, more than any other local player in recent years, built his legacy. He's currently the starting point guard at Point Loma Nazarene University, an NCAA Div. 2 program in San Diego, and he gave a shout-out to the Snowball via Twitter on Wednesday evening.

*****

5:42 p.m. – Mouat got a nice spark off the bench from forward Arsh Gill, who scored three quick buckets, but it's still all Yale. The Lions lead 67-48 with 2:37 left in the third quarter.

One player to watch for the future – and for the present too, I guess – is Yale point guard Riley Braich. The kid is just in Grade 10, but he was in the starting lineup tonight and has 13 points so far, including a couple of nifty finishes around the hoop.

*****

5:22 p.m. – It's definitely different watching Yale play without hearing fiery head coach Al Friesen exhorting them on in the background.

The longtime Lions bench boss has been on medical leave, and Euan Roberts, who is running the team in Friesen's absence, said Friesen plans to retire from teaching at the end of the semester. According to Roberts, it's unclear whether or not Friesen will return to the team at some point this season. Regardless, all the best to Coach Al, who guided Yale to B.C. AAA titles in 2008 and 2010.

The Lions are roaring tonight, leading Mouat 43-25 at the break behind 10 points apiece from Sasha Otanga and Paul Baadsvik. Corey Hauck has a game-high 12 points for Mouat, but aside from their stud point guard, the Hawks are struggling to get anything going offensively.

*****

5:04 p.m. – Mouat built a modest lead in the early going, but Yale closed the first quarter on a huge 19-2 run, capped by back-to-back three-pointers from Paul Baadsvik. I knew the senior big man was a good player, but I didn't know he could shoot it like that. It's 28-15 for the Lions.

*****

4:42 p.m. – Burnaby South coach David Smith just gave me the low-down on Jermaine Haley's absence. The Grade 11 phenom apparently has a hip flexor injuries on both sides. He played last night vs. Byrne Creek, but re-aggravated the issue.

"I think he's still growing, and he's still a little soft in his joints," Smith said with a wry chuckle.

As to whether Haley will suit up at all at the Snowball, Smith said he'd like to play the youngster, but that it would probably be best if he doesn't.

In Haley's absence, Tyus Batiste stepped up in a big way for the Rebels, notching 25 points. Djordje Obradovic chipped in with 12 points, while Elijah Campbell-Axson (20) and Jack Coady (17) were the top scorers for Van College.

Up next is an all-Abbotsford quarter-final between the Yale Lions and the W.J. Mouat Hawks.

*****

4:35 p.m. – Martin Bogajev only stands six feet tall, but he turned into a shot-blocking monster in the last 10 seconds of this ballgame.

With Burnaby South leading 69-67, Van College's Elijah Campbell-Axson drove the left baseline and pulled up for a jumper, but Bogajev closed out and swatted it.

The Irish immediately fouled, but the Rebels missed two free throws, leaving the door open for Vancouver College. Campbell-Axson brought the ball up and rose for a three-pointer at the top of the key, but once again, Bogajev rose to the occasion and got the block. Game over.

*****

4:14 p.m. – Are the Fighting Irish finally running out of gas? Burnaby South has reeled off a 14-4 run to take a 66-60 lead with six minutes left. Tyus Batiste is becoming a big factor for the Rebels on the fast break.

*****

4:06 p.m. – Vancouver College continues to hold a slim lead over Burnaby South, and their last gritty defensive sequence offers an indication as to why.

The Rebels have gone to a bigger lineup in order to punish the smallish Irish (who don't have anyone taller than 6'2"), and just tried to run a high-low play with 6'4" Djordje Obradovic feeding the ball in to 6'5" Nick Trnninic. But the Van College defenders collapsed and forced a turnover, which led to a fast-break jumper by Matt Narvaez at the other end. The Irish lead 56-52 early in the fourth quarter.

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3:40 p.m. – The Fighting Irish are still out in front of Burnaby South at the half, leading 38-34. Elijah Campbell Axson followed up his 37-point outburst vs. South Okanagan this morning with 10 more points in the first half, and Jack Coady has nine. Taylor Smith's 10 points pace the Rebels.

*****

3:14 p.m. – Props to Vancouver College. In their second game of the day, they've gotten off to a terrific start against Burnaby South, leading 24-19 after the first quarter behind seven points from Jack Coady.

It's worth noting that Jermaine Haley, the Rebels' phenomenal 6'5" Grade 11 point guard, is in street clothes on the bench. Not sure what the story is there, but I'll look to sort that out post-game.

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2:45 p.m. – With the Eagles nursing a six-point lead in the final minute of regulation, Mike Peters came up with a big defensive play that went a long way towards securing the victory. The senior forward came swooping in to swat Eli Cato's layup attempt at the rim, and MEI went on to win 90-80.

Greg Krahn (24 points) and Josiah Allison (22) paced the Eagles' fast-paced offence, which seemed to wear the Owls down in the second half.

Buster Truss was Kelowna's top scorer with 19 points and was an absolute beast down the stretch, but I can't help but think there's no way his team would have lost if he hadn't cut his hair (kidding, kidding). Nav Sandhu chipped in with 15 points for the Owls.

Up next is the first quarter-final of the day, featuring Burnaby South and Vancouver College.

*****

12: 32 p.m. – Wowwwwwww, Josiah Allison and Buster Truss just had an epic meeting at the rim. Off a Kelowna turnover, Allison took the ball to the hoop for what looked to be a relatively uncontested fast-break layup, but Truss came from out of nowhere to hammer it off the backboard. Huge.

MEI opened the fourth quarter on a 12-2 run, but the Owls are cutting into what was once an 11-point lead. It's now 84-78 with 2:40 remaining in the fourth.

*****

12:20 p.m. – Greg Krahn, MEI's other major offensive engine along with Allison, just reeled off seven quick points of his own (two driving layups, one three-pointer) to push the Eagles ahead of Kelowna by a 74-69 count. Still 7:49 remaining in the fourth quarter.

*****

2:08 p.m. – MEI had fallen behind by seven points, but Josiah Allison just went on a personal 7-0 run to tie it at 59-59. The senior guard showcased his versatility during the spurt – he hit a pair of free throws after drawing a foul on a drive; knocked down a three-pointer; and then snared an offensive rebound and laid it back in while absorbing contact. Nice player.

*****

1:58 p.m. – Readers of this blog over the previous two Snowball tourneys might recall my affinity for Buster Truss of the Kelowna Owls. I'm a big fan of the 6'4" forward's gritty game – he's one of those quintessential glue guys that every good team needs.

In the past, I've also blogged at length (no pun intended) about his mullet, which was epic and wonderful. But this year, he's arrived at the Snowball with a more conventional 'do (see photo above). If I had more time on my hands, I'd start a petition to get him to grow it out again. That mullet was legit.

While I've been preoccupied with hair, the Eagles have clawed their way back into this game, now trailing 52-48 early in the third quarter.

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1:45 p.m. – The Eagles hit a rough patch midway through the second quarter, as the Owls went on a 13-0 run to take control of a game which had been tied 31-31.

But once again, end-of-quarter heroics gave MEI something to feel good about. Point guard Nate Allison nailed a tough fadeaway triple to beat the buzzer and draw his team to within 46-36 at the half.

Both teams love the three-pointer – Kelowna had eight in the half, including four by Nav Sandhu, who scored all of his 12 points via the trey. MEI knocked down six of their own from beyond the arc, and Josiah Allison is tied with Sandhu for game-high scoring honours to this point with 12.

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1:26 p.m. – Kelowna opened up a 22-12 lead on MEI in the first quarter, but the Eagles salvaged some momentum in the waning seconds of the frame.

After a basket by Josiah Allison, MEI went to a full-court press and Greg Krahn came up with a steal. He hoisted a desperation shot from just inside halfcourt which missed badly, but a Kelowna player bumped him, sending him to the line for a trio of free throws which he promptly knocked down.

That cut the deficit to 22-17 at the end of the quarter, and the Eagles have since rallied to tie it up 29-29 on four straight three-pointers – two from Allison and two from Jordan Loewen.

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1:06 p.m. – Some Mouat-St. George's stats: Corey Hauck had an absolutely tremendous performance, leading all scorers with 25 points including nine in the fourth quarter. Ben Klammer (19 points) and Jayme Bains (16) also chipped in offensively for the Hawks.

For the Saints, the post duo of Derek Safnuk (24 points) and Mark Jacobs (19) was terrific, while guard Ethan Scott scored 22 points.

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12:58 p.m. – As promised, the end of the Mouat-St. George's game featured some terrific drama.

Mouat's Jayme Bains drained a three to put his team up 83-81, but Derek Safnuk of the Saints replied with an offensive rebound and putback to knot the score 83-83. But those were the last points St. George's would score – the Hawks got a tremendous driving layup through contact from Ben Klammer, and Jimmy Litt hit one of two free throws to stretch the lead to 86-83. The Saints got the ball back with 17 seconds left, but Keith Chow's potential game-tying trey rimmed out.

Mouat moves on to face the Yale Lions at 4:45 p.m. today.

As for Tristan Etienne's status, Mouat head coach Rich Ralston said he's nursing an injured Achilles tendon.

"He'll be in and out of the lineup for the rest of the year," Ralston said. "He'll tell me when he can play."

The MEI Eagles and Kelowna Owls are up next.

*****

12:49 p.m. – Matt Guynup, head coach of the Columbia Bible College men's basketball team, stopped by to keep me company, and we were pondering whether tearaway track pants still exist. Man, those were sweet in the '90s.

We're headed for a terrific finish in this Mouat-St. George's game. The Saints lead 81-80 with 1:50 left in the fourth.

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12:38 p.m. – Mouat's interior defence is really struggling without Tristan Etienne. The Saints rallied from a seven-point deficit in the third quarter to take a 74-71 lead with seven minutes left in the fourth, and they're getting basically whatever they want heading to the basket.

Hawks forward Jayme Bains just swished a trey, though, to knot the score once again at 74-74.

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12:26 p.m. – A few observations on the Hawks, who currently lead St. George's 66-59 late in the third quarter.

• Corey Hauck's shooting stroke is much more consistent this season – he undoubtedly put in a lot of work over the summer.

• I dig Ben Klammer's game. He's a 6'4" swingman who brings a lot of grit to the table.

• Alan Funtowicz is the early leader in the "coolest name of the tournament" contest, and he can play – he just knocked down a three-pointer.

*****

12:05 p.m. – The Hawks held a four-point advantage late in the half, but the Saints ended the second quarter on a 6-0 run, aided by a four-point possession following an intentional foul, to take a 39-37 lead.

St. George's guard Ethan Scott leads all scorers with 15 points at the break, and his 6'7" teammate Mark Jacobs has taken advantage of Tristan Etienne's absence en route to 11 points. The Hawks have a trio of players with nine points – Corey Hauck, Jayme Bains and Ben Klammer.

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11:46 a.m. – Mouat leads St. George's 28-27 early in the second quarter, and we've got a pretty good battle brewing between the point guards, Corey Hauck of the Hawks and Keith Chow of the Saints. Chow is basically face-guarding Hauck, who played for the B.C. U17 team last summer, when he doesn't have the ball, but Hauck recently drained a pretty nice pull-up three-pointer.

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11:30 a.m. – The W.J. Mouat Hawks and St. George's Saints are up next, and it's another interesting match-up, as both teams are currently honourable mentions in the AAAA provincial rankings.

The Hawks were No. 1 back in early December, but they've fallen down the rankings while dealing with a sobering off-court issue. Seven players were suspended from school after an alleged hazing incident at a tournament in Edmonton, which prompted a preliminary investigation from the Edmonton police. The investigation wrapped up with no criminal charges filed, and the seven players have had their suspensions lifted and are back on the team.

The Hawks appear to be without the services of 6'10" centre Tristan Etienne today, though – he's on the bench in street clothes. But Mouat leads 11-7 in the early going.

*****

11:15 a.m. – Gurkamal Dhaliwal drained one more preposterous three-pointer in the dying seconds from waaaaaaay back of the arc, but Vancouver College pulled away and won by a comfortable 83-74 margin.

Fighting Irish star Elijah Campbell-Axson racked up 37 points, and the only fault I could find with his performance was that his shoes (teal and neon yellow Nikes) clashed with his team's purple uniforms. (I am the basketball fashion police, FYI). But that's neither here nor there. Van College moves on to face Burnaby South in the quarter-finals at 3 p.m. today.

Jack Coady chipped in with 15 points for the Irish, including 11 after halftime, while Dhaliwal (23 points, six three-pointers) and Austin Basso (22 points) led the way for South Okanagan.

*****

11:05 a.m. – Van College led by 12 points with less than three minutes remaining in regulation, but South Okanagan guard Gurkamal Dhaliwal just swished back-to-back treys – the second one was of the pull-up variety – to make things interesting. It's 77-71 for the Irish with 2:11 left.

*****

10:50 a.m. – The third quarter was a rough one for South Okanagan. The Hornets got in terrible foul trouble, picking up five fouls before Vancouver College had even been whistled for one, which paved the way for the Irish to rally and take the lead.

South Okanagan still has no defensive answer for Elijah Campbell-Axson, and the Irish have been getting more offence from the rest of their roster en route to a 66-60 lead with 7:18 left in the fourth quarter.

*****

10:25 a.m. – While we're waiting for Van College and South Okanagan to get back underway, take a gander at the provincial rankings for the AAAA, AAA and AA tiers (there are no Single A teams in this tourney). Snowball teams are in bold, and remember, the field also includes the Father Henry Carr Crusaders of Etobicoke, Ont. – Canada's No. 4-ranked high school team according to northpolehoops.com.

AAAA

1. Gleneagle Talons (Coquitlam) (13-4) (LW-9)

2. Tamanawis Wildcats (Surrey) (13-4) (3)

3. Walnut Grove Gators (Langley) (17-1) (1)

4. Sir Winston Churchill Bulldogs (Vancouver) (13-2) (2)

5. Holy Cross Crusaders (Surrey) (13-3) (4)

6. Pitt Meadows Marauders (17-6) (5)

7. Claremont Spartans (Victoria) (14-2) (6)

8. Sardis Falcons (Chilliwack) (16-2) (7)

9. Burnaby South Rebels (10-6) (10-tie)

10. Yale Lions (Abbotsford) (9-6) (HM)

Honourable mention:

MEI Eagles (Abbotsford) (14-4) (HM)

Terry Fox Ravens (Port Coquitlam) (10-7) (8)

W.J. Mouat Hawks (Abbotsford) (11-5) (10-tie)

Kelowna Owls (8-6) (HM)

St. George’s Saints (Vancouver) (6-4) (HM)

AAA

1. North Delta Huskies (2)

2. Abbotsford Panthers (5)

3. St. Thomas More Knights (Burnaby) (9)

4. Sir Charles Tupper Tigers (Vancouver) (3)

5. Sutherland Sabres (North Vancouver) (8)

6. Fleetwood Park Dragons (Surrey) (4)

7. Mark Isfeld Ice (Courtenay) (LW-1)

8. McMath Wildcats (Richmond) (7)

9. Norkam Saints (Kamloops) (10-tie)

10. Byrne Creek Bulldogs (Burnaby) (6)

AA

1. St. Michaels University School Blue Jags (Victoria) (LW-2)

2. Lambrick Park Lions (Victoria) (3)

3. R.C. Palmer Griffins (Richmond) (1)

4. South Okanagan Hornets (Oliver) (4)

5. Brentwood College (Mill Bay) (6)

6. Gulf Islands Scorpions (Ganges) (5)

7. A.R. McNeill Ravens (Richmond) (10-tie)

8. Southridge Storm (Surrey) (7)

9. Clarence Fulton Maroons (Vernon) (8)

10. tie D.P. Todd Trojans (Prince George) (9)

10. tie Westsyde Whundas (Kamloops) (10-tie)

*****

10:18 a.m. – Twenty minutes of game action in the books, and we've already got our first epic performance brewing. Vancouver College's 6'2" swingman Elijah Campbell-Axson is absolutely dominating – he's got 24 points at halftime, knocking down three-pointers and getting into the lane for creative finishes time after time.

The bad news for Campbell-Axson and the Irish is, no one else on the team has more than four points. South Okanagan leads 43-38 at halftime with a more balanced attack – Austin Basso has 15 points, and Malcolm Heinrichs has 12.

•••••

10:05 a.m. – This Van College-South Okanagan match-up is pretty interesting. The Irish play in the new AAAA tier and are a traditional provincial powerhouse – they won the B.C. AAA title (formerly the largest tier) just two seasons ago. They're not ranked this year, though, nor are they overly big – they don't have anyone on the roster taller than 6'2".

South Okanagan, meanwhile, is ranked No. 4 in AA, and like the Irish, they're relatively short, with their tallest players standing just 6'3". But both of these teams can really shoot the ball. The Hornets are doing it just a bit better to this point, leading 36-29 with three minutes left in the second quarter.

*****

9:52 a.m. – Here's what you need to know so far: the host Abby Senior Panthers won the lone game played Wednesday, topping the Bateman Timberwolves 89-72. A recap of that game can be found here, and a tournament preview and complete game schedule can be found here.

Thurday's first game has tipped off, with the Vancouver College Fighting Irish clashing with the South Okanagan Hornets. Expect to see a lot of three-pointers hoisted and made in this game – both teams swished a trey on their first possession, and South Okanagan leads 22-17 after the first quarter.

*****

9:30 a.m. – Thursday of the Snowball Classic is probably the day I look forward to the most in my job each year. Basically what happens is, I post up at The Pit, Abby Senior's storied gymnasium, from morning to night and live-blog the first full day of the senior boys basketball tournament.

Which players will step up with jaw-dropping performances? Which teams will pull off upsets? How many cinnamon buns from the hospitality room will I eat? (My record is five). You'll find all that information here. It's going to be fun.

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