Abbotsford’s Robert Bateman has never lost a game at the Boys Provincial Basketball Championships.
Of course, keep in mind they’ve only played one game at the B.C.’s in the school’s 21-year history.
That game came on Wednesday in 3A action at the Langley Events Centre when the Timberwolves defeated Matthew McNair 63-52.
“It was a good win,” said coach Virinder Braich. “It was our first win at provincials. It was a close game the whole way and our guys just kept playing hard and we were able to pull away in the fourth.”
Braich joked that traditionally the school has been known for rugby and more recently football, but basketball is now gaining popularity.
Braich, who has coached the Timberwolves for six seasons, said that when his current group of senior players were in Grade 8, they made a goal.
“Our goal with this group four years ago was to make the provincials,” he explained.
And after finishing fourth in the Fraser Valley championships this year, the T-Wolves started to believe they can do more than just qualify for the B.C.’s
“We can make a run for it,” the coach said.
And the future looks bright for basketball at Bateman. The team is led by Grade 10 forward Nate Friesen who scored 22 points on Wednesday. And when guard Iqbal Grewal hurt his ankle in the first half, Austin Schulz came into the game and finished the game with 12 points. Forward Jacob Thiel added 14 points.
All season long, Braich said it’s been entire team effort on the court of selfless basketball. “It’s been a fun year.”
After the game the coach’s message was simple: “Enjoy this one and get ready for the next one tomorrow.”
For a photo slideshow from day one of the tournament, click here.