The R.E. Mountain Eagles’ Cinderella run came to a close in the Fraser Valley championship game.
Seeded ninth for the 32-team tournament, the Eagles junior boys knocked off the number eight, four and one seeds before falling in the gold-medal game against the No. 2 Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers.
“It was an emotional week for the guys and they just came out super flat,” admitted Mountain coach Kirk Weiss of Saturday’s championship final, held at Pitt Meadows Secondary.
The Eagles lost 73-34 in that game.
But second place at the Valley championships — believed to be an all-time best for the junior boys program — was an outstanding result, and also accomplished one of the team’s goals: qualifying for next week’s B.C. junior boys invitational championships. The 24-team tournament begins Feb. 25 and runs until Feb. 28 at the Langley Events Centre.
After winning their first two games to make the Fraser Valley championship draw, the Eagles needed to win one of their final three games to ensure their season would continue through to next week.
And they wasted little time, pulling off a shocking upset of the No. 1 seed — and top-ranked team in the province — North Delta Huskies, 53-52.
“We came in pretty loose — you have nothing to lose in a game like that; the pressure is on the higher seed to take care of business,” Weiss said.
Mountain’s defence held North Delta to 20 or so points in the first half and the second half was a back-and-forth affair.
Trailing by a point, the Eagles’ David Choi hit a lay-up with 10 seconds to go and North Delta could not answer.
That set up a semifinal showdown against No. 4 Heritage Woods, which Mountain won 57-54 in double overtime.
Jarret Jacobs was named a first team all-star for Mountain.
“The biggest thing is our team defence has been really, really good,” Weiss said.
“When you get a group of boys who buy in to being unselfish offensively and defensively, and then you tie it in with an elite level scorer like Jarret is, he can make good things happen.”
Mountain, seeded fifth, is one of three Langley teams competing at provincials.
They will be joined by Brookswood, seeded 29th, and Walnut Grove, seeded 30th.
Walnut Grove opens provincials on Saturday at 10 a.m. against No. 3 St. George’s, while Brookswood plays No. 4 West Vancouver at 11:30 a.m. The Eagles open against No. 28 Dover Bay, also at 11:30 a.m.