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HOOP UPDATE: Knights win AAA title, Rebels fifth in AAAA
The St. Thomas More Knights have a decoration for their spanking, brand-new gym that won't ever be taken down.
The Knights won the B.C. AAA high school boys basketball championship by downing Prince Rupert's Charles Hay Rainmakers 53-38 in a gritty defensive battle at the Langley Events Centre Saturday evening.
It marked the first provincial senior boys championship for STM since its 1976 squad coached by Rich Goulet won the A title. This is the first year British Columbia added a AAAA category to its championships.
The tournament's most valuable player Reese Morris scored 16 points and had 12 rebounds despite sitting much of the second quarter with foul trouble. Justin Deslauriers scored 12 points while Andrew Flett had 11 points and 10 rebounds. In the game, STM outrebounded Hays 52-41.
The victory not only put a big smile on Knights head coach Aaron Mitchell's face it had him high-fiving, low-fiving, hugging and doing a little dance while getting his picture taken. The provincial title came 20 years after he won one as a player for Port Coquitlam's Terry Fox Ravens.
Morris was also named a tournament first-team all-star while Grade 10 guard Terrell Jana received a second-team nod.
The Knights advanced to the final by edging the Abbotsford Panthers 73-71 Friday. Deslauriers racked up 25 points and five rebounds while Morris had 22 points and eight rebounds with Jana contributing 12 points, six rebounds and five steals.
The Knights defeated the North Vancouver's Sutherland Sabres 62-54 in Thursday's quarter-final. Morris led the Knights with 24 points while Jana scored 20.
In their opening round game Wednesday, More defeated the Samuel Robertson Technical Titans of Maple Ridge 64-40. Morris scored 26 points and also grabbed eight rebounds. Jana contributed 11 points and five assists.
The Burnaby South Rebels finished fifth in the AAAA tournament by downing Coquitlam's Gleneagle Talons 60-57 Saturday.
Six-foot-six guard, Grade 11 guard Jermaine Haley, who was named a second-team all-star, scored 22 points to lead the Rebels while Tyus Batiste had 10 points, seven defensive rebounds and two steals.
South's bid for a provincial title came to an end Thursday night when they were ousted 74-60 in the quarter-finals by the Tamanawis Wildcats of Surrey. South's top scorer was Martin Bogalev with 22 points while Haley had 11 points and 11 rebounds.
The Rebels bounced back Friday morning in cruising to an 80-57 win over the defending champion Walnut Grove Gators of Langley. Batiste scored 16 points, grabbed eight rebounds and had four assists to be named player of the game.
In the first round Wednesday, South got a 29-point performance from Haley in an 81-58 victory over Victoria's Claremont Spartans.
Haley also had nine rebounds and five assists while Batiste scored 12 and Nick Trninic 11 for the Rebels.