Rough start for Richmond schools at provincials

City teams go 0-for-4 in opening round games at the Langley Events Centre

Richmond teams were part of a rude welcoming for the South Fraser Zone at the B.C. High School Boys Basketball Championships.

Day one ended at the Langley Events Centre on Wednesday with South Fraser teams going 0-for-10 in the combined 4A, 3A and 2A tiers. That included four losses for Richmond schools while all six Surrey representatives also fell to defeat.

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South Fraser (Richmond, Surrey, Delta) is part of BC School Sports’ new landscape that saw zones added to the Greater Vancouver region to replace the former Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley zones.

Ironically, all three Richmond 3A schools fell to former Lower Mainland opponents.

The Richmond Colts headed to the LEC sky-high off their big win at the 3A zone championships last Friday and were rewarded with the No. 6 seed. However, their usual high-powered offence struggled to find its grove all afternoon in a 73-57 loss to No. 11 Magee Lions.

The young Vancouver team took over in the second half, outscoring Richmond 47-27, to break a tight game wide open.

Arminas Ilciukas led the Colts with 23. Jonathan Hu added 18.

South Fraser runner-up MacNeill at least headed to Langley with some experience after last year’s final four appearance. The tournament’s No. 11 seed did make things interesting against No. 4 Tupper before dropping a 55-47 decision.

The Ravens trailed just 34-32 after three quarters in the low scoring affair thanks to holding the Tigers to only six points in the third. The Vancouver school pulled away in the late going.

Senior Omar Abumalouh led MacNeill with 14 points.

The No. 10 Steveston-London Sharks saw their comeback fall short in a 76-73 loss to No. 7 St. Thomas More of Burnaby.

The Sharks trailed by as many as 14 points in the third quarter before setting up an exciting finish thanks to a 22-point performance from senior guard Jhonelle Dela Cruz. Nao Kawano added 13.

On the 2A side, the Hugh Boyd Trojans were making their first provincial tournament in nearly a decade and their nerves were evident in a 86-48 loss to Lambrick Park.

This game was actually close (14-12) after one quarter in a match-up of No. 11 and No. 6 seeds. However, the Victoria school outscored Boyd 41-19 over the next two quarters to take full control. 

The Trojans connected on just three of 20 shots in the second quarter and finished the game shooting 27.5 percent. Payton Hinds led Boyd with nine points. 

All four Richmond teams will see consolation action over the next three days to wrap up their seasons.

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