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Four Richmond teams nail down B.C. berths

McMath, McNair, Cambie and Richmond Christian all headed to the Langley Events Centre for their respective provincial tournaments
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Cambie Crusaders roared back in the second half to defeat Britannia and capture the Lower Mainland AA Boys Basketball Championship at the Richmond Olympic Oval.

Four Richmond teams have qualified for three different tiers when the B.C. High School Boys Basketball Championships tip-off  Wednesday at the Langley Events Centre.

 

For the second straight year, the McMath Wildcats and McNair Marlins will be competing in the AAA tournament. Both teams have been fixtures in the top 10 rankings all season and nailed down B.C. berths at last week’s Lower Mainland Championships at the Richmond Olympic Oval.

 

The fifth ranked Wildcats reached Friday’s final before falling 71-61 to No. 1 and defending champion Charles Tupper.

 

 McMath had come through with a big 75-61 win over No. 3 St. Thomas More one night earlier, avenging a loss earlier this season.

 

Sam Evanson and Ido Gortler were named to the tournament first all-star team. Jess Mason earned second team honours.

 

After falling 92-61 to Tupper in the semi-finals, the Marlins booked their ticket to Langley with a hard-fought do-or-die 72-68 win over the McRoberts Strikers. It marked the third time this season the city rivals had squared off with McNair managing to win each time, despite standout guard Kevin Yang battling an injury through the Mainland playoffs. The Marlins went on to finish fourth after falling 75-61 to STM.

 

The Wildcats have been seeded third and open play Wednesday against Coquitlam's Charles Best at 10:15 a.m. The 12th seeded Marlins take on No. 5 Robert Bateman at noon.

 

Meanwhile, the Cambie Crusaders have captured their first-ever Lower Mainland senior boys title by taking the AA tier with a 73-53 win over Britannia last Thursday at the Oval.

 

The Vancouver school led by as many as 13 points in the opening half as the Crusaders’ struggled from the perimeter. They heated up in a big way to start the third quarter, draining five straight three-pointers to pull away for one of the biggest wins in school history.

 

Standout guard Justin Dhillon was named the tournament’s most valuable player. Riley Paulik was selected to the all-star team.

 

The Crusaders’ road to the championship began with an 82-50 win over Templeton, before knocking off league rival MacNeill.

 

Defending champion Palmer finished third thanks to a narrow 67-66 win over MacNeill. The Griffins needed a Britannia win over Cambie to force an extra game for the second B.C. berth but it wasn’t to be.

Palmer opened the tournament with a 68-61 win over King George, before falling 78-63 to Britannia. MacNeill advanced to the semi-finals with a 67-42 win against Notre Dame.

 

Palmer’s Jovan Dulay and MacNeill’s Denzel DeJesus were named tournament all-stars.

 

The Crusaders have been seeded eighth and take on No. 9 GW Graham of Chilliwack at 6:45 p.m. Wednesday.

 

After just missing out on qualifying for the city championships, the Richmond Christian Eagles dominated from start to finish the capture the Lower Mainland “A” title for the first time in recent memory.

 

Ranked third in the province, the Eagles dominated West Point Grey Academy  80-56 in the championship game.

WPGA was coming off a 65-63 win over top ranked St. Patrick’s a day earlier.

 

Richmond Christian opened with an 84-68 win against Deer Lake Academy, then got past St. John’s 79-63.

 

Joaquin Arguelles was named tournament MVP. Teammate Sam Cabuay was selected as an all-star.

 

The Eagles have earned the top seed at provincials and take on Mulgrave at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.

 

At the buzzer…

The Lower Mainland AAAA playoffs proved to be short and sweet for city champion Richmond Colts, who entered an extremely competitive draw without leading scorer Jon Mikhlin who broke his ankle in the Richmond championship game.

In a must-win game against provincially-ranked Kitsilano, the Colts dropped a 93-73 decision.

Trailing by as many as 27 points, Richmond battled back within 14 with one quarter still to play before running out of steam.

The backcourt of Tristan Ordonez and Keith Adano combined for 41 points.

First-year coaches Mark and Matt Twyford thank their players for a memorable season.

Defending provincial champion Churchill defeated Burnaby South to take top honours, in front of a packed house on Friday at the Oval. David Thompson stunned third ranked Vancouver College to earn the final B.C. berth.

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