The RC Palmer Griffins will head to Kamloops next week playing their best basketball of the season.
The Griffins made it back-to-back post-season tournament victories by capturing the Lower Mainland "AA" Championships in impressive fashion. Just like the Richmond playoffs where they were not the top seeded team, Palmer rose to the challenge with three impressive victories, capped by a decisive 97-82 win over Notre Dame in the championship game.
"We are on a bit of a roll," understated head coach Paul Eberhardt. "We are scoring in bunches right now and getting off to quick starts which have gone a long way towards our success in these playoffs."
The third-seeded Griffins opened the Mainlands with an easy 102-59 victory over Cariboo Hill, setting the stage for their huge semi-final tilt against host King George.
Palmer broke a open tight game at the half (44-36) by outscoring the Vancouver school by nine in the third quarter to take a 68-51 advantage into the final 10 minutes. The Dragons could get no closer than 10 points and Palmer went on to a 79-68 victory.
Antonio Jhuty put on an offensive clinic, shooting over 50 percent including seven three-pointers on his way to a game high 35 points.
The championship game was all but over after the opening quarter as Palmer jumped out to a 30-11 lead over the Jugglers.
Richmond League MVP Jamie Madewan was a man amongst boys in this game, putting together an outstanding performance with 44 points and 24 rebounds.
Gurjit Pooni also had another strong game with 21 points and five assists, while Karn Mann had 11 points and 20 rebounds. Jimmy Park passed for 10 assists.
Madewan was named the tournament's MVP while Jhuty was an all-star selection.
"We are very excited to be returning to Kamloops where we will give it our best shot to bring a B.C. Championship banner back to Richmond," said Eberhardt."
At the buzzer.... Two Richmond teams remain in contention for a provincial "AAA" tournament berth and are on a collision course at the Lower Mainland Championships.
The Burnett Breakers and McMath Wildcats were slated to meet Killarney and David Thompson respectively in consolation play yesterday. Victories would set-up a do-or-die showdown this afternoon (4: 45 p.m.) with the winner guar-anteed to be playing for a B.C. berth.
The Breakers dropped a 80-79 quarter-final heartbreaker to the ninth ranked Churchill Bulldogs last Thursday. The hosts were step-for-step with the Vancouver opponent from start to finish and only a missed free throw with one second left prevented the game from going to overtime.
The Wildcats also hung tough with sixth ranked Kitsilano, losing 71-63. All remaining games at the Mainland Championships take place at Kitsilano secondary.