Sports

DCS boys keep fighting to the finish in Langley

Doug Groenendijk had his teammates pumped up on the way to an Island tournament win for DCS and that energy carried over into the provincials. - Andrew Leong/file
Doug Groenendijk had his teammates pumped up on the way to an Island tournament win for DCS and that energy carried over into the provincials.
— image credit: Andrew Leong/file

Duncan Christian School Chargers took their best shot at tough competition in the provincial A senior boys’ basketball championships and finished sixth, one notch below their pre-tournament ranking.

“We knew every team was going to bring their best,’’ said DCS star Doug Groenendijk.

He certainly brought his best every game at the Langley Events Centre and was rewarded with a first all-star team selection.

DCS opened against No. 12 Similkameen and started on a positive note with a 58-46 victory.

Nick Kapteyn (17), Jesse Van Wingerden (16) and Groenendijk (14) all provided DCS with double digit scoring.

The second game of the tournament was a titanic battle with No. 4 St. Patrick’s and DCS ended up losing 68-52 despite 16 points from Groenendijk, 12 from Kapteyn and 10 from Van Wingerden.

The fourth quarter decided the issue in what had been a tight game to that point, with St. Pat’s outscoring DCS 19-6.

St. Pat’s eventually finished second in the tournament behind West Point Grey.

DCS went on to face No. 8 Kelowna Christian and overcame a 28-15 scoring disadvantage in the third quarter to prevail 68-64.

While Kapteyn went out early with a knee injury, Groenendijk exploded for 35 points.

“I had a crazy game,’’ he conceded. “Everything was just dropping. It was awesome.’’

Groenendijk was 13-for-22 from the field and added nine points from the free throw line. Young Mike Brandsma had an amazing game in support with 17 points.

Kapteyn returned to action for the final game but DCS lost to No. 7 Immaculata 55-46. Groenendijk scored 11 and Brandsma added 10 points in vain.

Groenendijk praised the young players like Brandsma and Van Wingerden for the contributions they made to the team.

“They did great,’’ he said. “They improved a lot, too.’’

Here's coach Jim Brandsma's take on the tournament:

"Yes, it all went really well at the tourney. We were hoping to finish higher in the standings. The tournament pressure I think got to a couple of our guys and conversely elevated the play of others. Our first game against Similkameen wasn't pretty, but we got the job done and that put us in the top eight.

"Our game against St. Pat's to get to the semifinals was a tough game. They are a tough team. All of them are very quick and can shoot from three-point range with success which proved to be too much for us. It was tough to match their speed and shooting for the entire game.

"In the next game when we went up against Kelowna Christian, last year's AA provincial champions, we got to play in the arena bowl which is a court over the ice hockey surface. It was an amazing experience for our guys. It was close up to half and then we had a third quarter meltdown. We came out strong in the fourth and managed to outscore them and regain the lead with 30 seconds left in the game and eventually the win by four points.

"In our next game for fifth and sixth against Immaculata, last year's A provincial champions, I don't know what happened but we played our worst first quarter of the year and were down by 16 going into the second. The boys responded very well after a brief talking-to and we outscored them 16-5 in this second, tied them in the third and lost the fourth by four points. If we had not blown the first quarter, we could have won and maintained our fifth place finish from last year.

"This season has been a really great season for all the guys. They have grown a lot as players and young men. This season will go down as the best season for Chargers senior guys basketball. Some guys have really stepped it up this year and I really look forward to what next season has to bring.''

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