Tired of watching other teams hoist tournament title trophies, the D.W. Poppy Red Hawks finally got to celebrate Saturday night, stopping the R.E. Mountain Eagles 66-64 in an all-Langley final of the Kalamalka Lakers Rock the Rim Tournament.
Tourney MVP Josh Uponrefe drained 20 points and Adrienne Schuerhaus added 16 as the Red Hawks won the eight-team senior boys basketball affair. Schuerhaus was chosen Top Defender. All-star Peter Chung sank 22 points for the Eagles.
Poppy had finished second in three previous tournaments. Devin Stone snagged 24 points and Uponrefe brought down 23 as the Red Hawks upended the A.L. Fortune Falcons of Enderby 72-52 in semifinal play. All-star Luke Tomkins pocketed 27 points for Fortune.
Mountain brushed back the Seaton Sonics 69-62 in the other semi. Shehryaar Sehgal rung up 35 points for Mountain, while Besim Maliqi and Chris McEachran-Law each netted 21 points for Seaton.
“The best way to describe the first Kal Rock the Rim Tourney was parity and excitement,” said Kal coach Rick Serafin. “In a total of 12 games,10 were decided by five or six points, or less. All four final games were decided by six points or less.”
It was a real positive weekend for Kal basketball as the junior and senior teams combined to put together a solid senior team and organize a senior tournament for the first time in years.
“It was a real positive addition which will only help Kal continue to build up their boys program,” said Serafin. “I’m proud of not only the development of all my seniors and Grade 11s, but the leadership and commitment they’ve shown to helping the younger players in Grade 9 and 10.”
Tomkins flushed 27 points as the Falcons outlasted Seaton 76-71 for third spot. Joel Castle nailed 17 points for Fortune, while McEachran-Law scored 21 for Seaton.
Wyatt Fassbender of Fortune and Joe Davis of Westsyde rounded out the all-star selections.
The Lakers beat the Westsyde Whundas of Kamloops 57-53 for seventh place, getting 15 points from guard Steven Goebel and 10 points apiece from all-star guard Max Wilford and Paul Major.
Earlier Saturday, the Lakers lost 69-55 to the Rutland Voodoos. Wilford counted 18 points and Major 15.
In Monday night league play, PVSS defeated the Lakers 72-67 with Tian Hannah nailing 22 points, all from the low post, and Matt Sutherland dropping 19 from the outside for the Saints.
Kal was powered by Wilford with 20 points and Goebel with 14. Ever-improving Grade 11 Nathan Christiansen scored 14 points from the perimeter and post. Junior Chris Gallant pocketed three treys and finished with 11 points.
Meanwhile, the Fulton Maroons went 2-2 at the Sa-Hali Sabres Senior Boys Invitational in Kamloops, losing 65-57 Saturday to the South Okanagan Hornets.
Mitch Rouault collected 21 points and eight assists for Fulton, while Steve Porcaro had 16 points and eight rebounds.
The Maroons opened by storming the Valleyview Vikings of Kamloops 63-45. High scorers were Rouault, with 18 points and eight assists, and Dustin Popoff, with20 points and nine rebounds.
The Maroons then upended the L.V. Rogers Bombers of Nelson 53-47 behind 24 points from Rouault. Popoff chipped in with 15 points and Porcaro had 11.
Fulton followed with a 70-56 loss to the Duchess Park Condors of Prince George. Popoff supplied 15 points and Clark Richardson had nine.
“The boys are playing well right now,” said Fulton coach Dale Olson. “We are right where we want to be at this time in the season. We are getting better every week and more fit. The Valleys will be a dogfight this year.”
The Maroons play road games at Kal (tonight), Seaton (Friday), PVSS (Saturday) and the Revelstoke Rams (Monday) before the zone playdowns start next Thursday.