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Gators' Cohee third all-time on scoring list
It may be of little solace to the team, but the Walnut Grove Gators can at least say they lost to the provincial champions.
The Gators were ousted in the quarter-finals of the B.C. high school boys 4A basketball championships on Thursday afternoon at the Langley Events Centre, losing 75-70 to the Sir Winston Churchill Bulldogs.
Walnut Grove was seeded fourth for the 16-team tournament.
They had opened with a 80-56 victory over the Queen Charlotte Saints.
The Bulldogs, who lost to the Gators in last year’s opening round of the 3A provincial championships — which Walnut Grove won — were seeded fifth and held on to edge the sixth-seed Holy Cross Crusaders 67-64 in Saturday’s championship final.
Walnut Grove wound up seventh after splitting their final two games, an 80-57 loss to the Burnaby South Rebels and a 91-82 win over the Vancouver College Fighting Irish.
The loss to Churchill saw the team fall behind 31-10 after one quarter and then nearly complete the comeback, cutting the lead down to a basket in the late stages, before losing by five points.
“What happened was (Churchill) came out very energetic, very lively, moving everywhere on offence and defence,” said Walnut Grove coach George Bergen following that loss.
“(And) we were slow.”
After Churchill’s fast start, the Gators cut the lead to nine at the half and then inched closer throughout the second half.
“We had our opportunities in the end,” Bergen said. “We showed some signs of life but we didn’t take advantage of our opportunities.”
A big problem for the team was their failure to hit their foul shots and their inability to keep Churchill off the offensive boards.
The Gators missed 10 free throws and were out-rebounded 57-47, with the Bulldogs grabbing 26 offensive rebounds.
“Our goal was to control the defensive glass and their transition and we lost on both ends.”
Jadon Cohee was named a second team all-star for the Gators, his third straight year getting recognition at the tournament.
He was a first team all-star in 2012 when the team placed second and was a first team all-star and most valuable player in 2013 as the Gators won the title.
Cohee, who is off to Seattle University next season on scholarship, scored 90 points over his team’s four games. He finishes his high school career with 264 career points in a dozen games, an average of 22 points per game.
The total places Cohee third all-time in the tournament’s history behind Pasha Bains (317 points in 12 games for Richmond in 1996 and 1998) and Cameron Smythe (276 points in 13 games for Sir Charles Tupper in 2010, 2011 and 2012).