This one will be for the B.C. basketball history books.
Until tonight (Saturday), no two Surrey school teams have ever met in the final of the top-tier senior boys basketball provincial championships.
Langley Events Centre’s arena bowl will be jumping for the 4A final game between Semiahmoo Thunderbirds and Fleetwood Park Dragons, starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are sold at the door and online (for $10-$18), and games are streamed for a fee on tfsetv.ca.
The two Surrey squads last met in the South Fraser regional finals March 3, when the Thunderbirds beat the Dragons 82-56 at the South Surrey school gym.
In Langley, the Fleetwood team entered the four-day tournament as the #6 seed and advanced to tonight’s final after knocking off the #3 and #2 seeds in successive games.
Up next, an even tougher task against the #1-ranked Thunderbirds in a battle for B.C. bragging rights in a division for the province’s largest schools.
The last Surrey school team to win the 4A senior boys B.C. championship was Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers in 2019.
On Friday evening (March 10), Semiahmoo dominated Kelowna 96-68 to make the final. Four Thunderbird players reached double figures, including Cole Bekkering with 24, Marcus Flores scored 20, Torian Lee had 19 and Andre Juco chipped in 11.
In the other semifinal, Fleetwood Park edged Oak Bay Bays 73-67 for an upset win. The Dragons trailed by eight points in the first quarter before taking the lead for good in the second. Aaron Uppal and Izaec Oppal had matching 24-point games, with Oppal connecting on seven of his 11 attempts from beyond the arc. Eesher Sarai finished with a double-double as he scored 13 points and gathered 12 rebounds.
This week’s multi-tier senior boys tournament involved teams in four divisions, from 1A (smallest schools in B.C.) to 4A (largest). In the 16-team 4A tourney, Semiahmoo and Fleetwood Park were joined by two other Surrey school teams, Elgin Park (ranked #13) and Tamanawis (#14).
Today’s 3A division final features No. 1 St. Patrick Celtics (Vancouver) vs. No. 2 Dover Bay Dolphins (Nanaimo) at 5:30 p.m. in the Arena Bowl.
In the 2A final, it will be No. 1 Brentwood College (Mill Bay) against No. 2 King George Dragons (Vancouver) at 3:15 p.m. in the Arena Bowl.
And the 1A final pits the No. 1 Unity Christian Flames (Chilliwack) against the No. 2 King David Lions (Vancouver) at 8:30 p.m. on South Court.
Scores and schedules are on bchighschoolbasketballchampionships.com/4aboys.
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