BASKETBALL: Young talent pushes Holy Cross to senior boys provincials

Crusaders head to the LEC next week as #2 in the Fraser Valley

Holy Cross guard Uyi Ologhola drives around a Walnut Grove defender during the Fraser Valley senior boys basketball finals, played on Sunday (Feb. 26) at Langley Events Centre.

Holy Cross guard Uyi Ologhola drives around a Walnut Grove defender during the Fraser Valley senior boys basketball finals, played on Sunday (Feb. 26) at Langley Events Centre.

By Gary Ahuja, Black Press

In the end, the depth and height of the Walnut Grove Gators were too much to handle for the Holy Cross Crusaders.

Langley’s Gators overwhelmed the Surrey squad 91-70 on Sunday night (Feb. 26) in front of a standing-room-only crowd of more than 1,000 fans at Langley Events Centre (LEC).

The two senior boys basketball teams were playing in the championship final of the Fraser Valley 4A tournament.

Both squads now prepare for the B.C. 4A senior boys provincial championships, which runs from March 8 to 11 at the LEC. The live draw will be held on Sunday, March 5.

“Holy Cross played a very good game but we withstood the pressure and made some good decisions,” said Gators coach George Bergen, whose team has lost just twice this season and only once against B.C. competition.

Crusaders coach Anthony Pezzente said Walnut Grove’s height advantage was just too much to overcome.

“I am proud of our fight but when you are that big like them, you need some shots to go in for us and we didn’t get them and they hit some shots we didn’t think they could hit,” he said.

Holy Cross was also playing without injured guard Keegan Konn, lost for the year earlier in the season. It meant they played the majority of the game with two Grade 9s and a Grade 10 as well as a couple of Grade 11s. Jamal Osee-Anim led Holy Cross with 15 points.

Three Surrey teams – Holy Cross, Semiahmoo and Lord Tweedsmuir – will play in the provincial championships next week.

Semiahmoo is in the #4 spot among Fraser Valley teams, after losing to WJ Mouat 80-69, while Tweedsmuir earned fifth with a 105-91 win over Yale.

Semiahmoo’s Vlad Mihalia and Holy Cross guard Uyi Ologhola earned first-team all-star nods during the Fraser Valley tourney. Second-team honours were given to Dylan Kinley of Lord Tweedsmuir and Marcus Browne of Holy Cross.

In 3A, Guildford Park Secondary this week plays host to eight teams looking to fill the final four Fraser Valley spots at provincials. Games began Wednesday (March 1, past Now press deadline) and conclude Friday evening, with Guildford Park, Southridge, Brookswood, Abbotsford, Maple Ridge, Delta, Rick Hansen and Robert Bateman in the hunt. CLICK HERE for the schedule.

In the 2A division, Pacific Academy is the lone Surrey school heading to provincials, following the team’s second-place showing at Fraser Valleys. The squad lost 114-96 to host GW Graham on Saturday (Feb. 25). Pacific Academy’s Josh Blas was named to the tourney’s first all-star team, while teammate Ethan Adkins earned a second-team nod. CLICK HERE for 2A tourney details.

At the 1A level, Surrey’s Khalsa School is a first-timer at provincials after beating Gabrielle Roy 74-54 on Saturday. Khalsa’s Jaskirat Sandhu was named to the tourney all-star team.

with file by Tom Zillich, Surrey Now

 

 

 

 

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