Playing in their first provincial championship tournament in 62 years, the Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers have assured themselves of a best-ever finish.
The Panthers rolled past the West Vancouver Highlanders 73-47 Thursday afternoon in the first round of the B.C. Senior 4A Boys High School Basketball Championship at the Langley Events Centre (LEC).
Lord Tweedsmuir can finish no worse than eighth. The Panthers failed to place in the top eight in their previous two appearances at the provincial championship tournament at high school basketball’s highest level.
The Panthers are seeded fifth for this year’s tournament, and had little trouble with the 12th-seed Highlanders, leading 24-13, 41-30 and 57-41 at the quarter breaks.
Grade 12 forward Justin Mason was Lord Tweedsmuir’s top scorer with 20 points, and completed a double double with 10 rebounds.
Guards Brett Norris with 15 points, and K.J. Johnson and Anthony Kucharek with 14 each also scored in double figures.
Six-foot-five forward Iqwinder Gill was the game’s top rebounder with a dozen.
Lord Tweedsmuir will play the defending champion Sir Winston Churchill Bulldogs at 3:30 p.m. this afternoon.
In the Senior AAA provincial tournament, the Fleetwood Park Dragons have also moved on to the quarterfinal round after an easy 84-34 triumph over the Dawson Creek Wolves.
Fleetwood Park led 25-10 after the first quarter and 49-23 at the half, allowing all 15 Dragons in the lineup to get into the game. Grade 11 guard Tomas Fovenyi with 17 points, Armaan Khangura with 14 and Nikhail Berar with 12 paced the Dragons attack. Fleetwood Park shot 47 per cent from the field, compared to just 16 per cent for Dawson Creek.
The Dragons, the tournament’s second-seed, will play the seventh-seed St. Thomas More Knights at 8:15 p.m. tonight in the Centre Court at the LEC.
In the Senior AA category, the Delview Raiders overwhelmed the Kwalikum Kondors 87-52 in their first-round game Thursday.
The Raiders held the lead from start to finish, taking a 31-18 advantage after 10 minutes and stretching it to a 15-point cushion by halftime.
Delview shot 37 per cent from behind the three point, scoring 16 treys. Wowie Untalan of Delview hit six three-pointers and finished the game with 36 points, with Bilaval Aujla sinking seven treys and scoring 21 points.
Untalan just missed a triple double, as he was the top Delview rebounder with nine, and also added nine assists.
Delview will face the Langley Christian Lightning in a quarterfinal game tonight at 8:15 p.m. in the LEC’s South Court.
The Raiders played Langley Christian twice at the Fraser Valley Championship tournament at Delview Secondary, losing 81-79 in the the first game before dominating the rematch 96-56.