Iqwinder Gill of the Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers reaches over a pair of West Vancouver Highlanders during a game at the B.C. Boys Senior 4A High School Basketball Tournament at the Langley Events Centre.

Best-ever showing for Panthers at provincials

Cloverdale school places seventh at B.C. Championship tournament

The Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers made history again last week.

The Cloverdale school placed seventh at the B.C. Boys Senior 4A High School Basketball Championship at the Langley Events Centre (LEC), winning two of four games.

It was the best-ever showing by Lord Tweedsmuir at the highest level of competition. The Panthers were making their first trip to the provincial championships since 1953, and the school had never finished in the top eight.

“I didn’t know that,” said head coach Raj Bagry. “But it means a lot. The boys have put in a lot of time, and the teachers have given a lot of support. It means a lot to everyone at the school.”

Lord Tweedsmuir won their first game of the tournament by a 73-47 margin over the West Vancouver Highlanders, with Justin Mason scoring 20 points. Point guard Brett Norris added another 15, with K.J. Johnson and Anthony Kucharek netting 14 each.

The Panthers fell 68-51 to the defending champion Sir Winston Churchill Bulldogs Thursday. Top scorers were Iqwinder Gill with 13 points, Norris with 12 and Mason and Kucharek with 11 each.

On Friday, Lord Tweesmuir dropped a close 82-80 decision to the Oak Bay Bays. Norris and Mason had 19 points each, with Gill contributing 18.

The Panthers met Semiahmoo on the final day of play, with Lord Tweedsmiur coming out on top 100-88 in overtime to clinch seventh place.

“It was a fantastic tournament,” said Bagry. “Just being there is a win for all teams. Playing in the LEC is great, with all the tournaments from single-A to 4A happening at the same time.”

Norris was among the tournament award winners, as he was presented with the Most Inspirational Player award.

For the Totems, Saturday’s loss was their third in a row to close out the tournament, but didn’t stop them from achieving their goal.

“One of our goals heading into the season was to make it to provincials, and we did that,” said head coach Ed Lefurgy. “And once we got here, our goal was to finish higher than our seed – we were seeded 10th and finished eighth, so we managed to do that, too, so it was a very successful season for us.”

Semiahmoo opened with an 83-72 victory over the Cowichan Thunderbirds in Thursday. Patrick Dujmovic and Curtis Harvey scored 26 points each to lead the Totems to the win, with Elias Ellison netting 18 points and Brian Spanier adding 16.

Semiahmoo, playing in the tournament for the first time since 1976 and for just the fourth time in school history, was seeded 10th. After their first-round loss, they were eliminated from championship contention in the quarterfinal round Thursday with an 88-76 loss to the eventual champion Yale Lions.

Ellison with 21 points, Spanier with 16 and Harvey with 14 were the top scorers for Semiahmoo. Greg Saourine registered a double double with 13 points and a game-high 17 rebounds.

On Friday, the Totems were handed a 96-83 setback by the sixth-seed Burnaby South Rebels. Harvey scored another 31 points to pace Semiahmoo, with Ellison tallying 23.

– The Southridge Storm won three of four games to place third in the Senior AA boys tournament, which was also played at the LEC last week.

The South Surrey school was seeded second, but lost to the Delview Raiders 81-79 in Friday night’s semifinal game. They came back Saturday morning to defeat the Collingwood Cavaliers 73-70.

Forward Hunter Hughes was named to the tournament’s first all-star team. Sam Chan was a second-team selection.

Hughes scored 31 points and added 15 rebounds in a first-round game against the Nechako Valley Vikings, an 88-59 Southridge win in which Chan scored 19.

In their second game, the Storm stopped the Clarence Fulton Maroons of Vernon 85-78. Hughes had another huge game, scoring 40 points and adding 19 rebounds. Chan tallied 18 points.

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