White Rock Christian tames Wild in provincial play-in game
They started a little slow, and they finished a little sloppy, but in between, the White Rock Christian Academy Warriors played well enough to advance past the play-in round of the BC High School Boys Basketball Championships.
Tuesday at the Langley Events Centre, WRCA, ranked tenth in the province, beat the Mount Baker (Cranbrook) Wild, 79-67, and advanced to the first round of the tournament Wednesday, where they faced off against No. 3-ranked St. George's Saints. Results from that game were not available by press deadline.
As is sometimes the case at provincials as players look to shake out nerves, the Warriors and the Wild played
each other close in the first quarter Tuesday – Mount Baker took a lead in the opening few minutes before White Rock crept back and eventually pulled away with a 40-28 halftime lead.
"I think we played well, it was a good team win, and everybody got some minutes, so it was good," said WRCA's Grade 11 guard Sam Ykema, who finished with six points and six rebounds.
"For a lot of us, this is our first senior provincials, so we were a little jittery. We had to get warmed up."
WRCA continued to extend the lead in the third quarter, and were up by as many as 21 points before head coach Dale Shury emptied his bench, which – combined with a few ball-handling miscues – allowed Mount Baker to creep back into the game, whittling the deficit to as few as eight in the waning moments.
"That wasn't the normal game plan, not the usual way we play," said Shury, explaining the late-game lull from his squad.
"We were able to get everyone into the game, which I think is important in a tournament like this."
Jake Newman led WRCA with 19 points and nine rebounds, while Kristophe Baerg and Vartan Tanelian had 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Mount Baker, carrying a roster of just eight players, was led by Scott Watmough, who had 29 points, 21 rebounds and four blocked shots. Guard Andrew Lamb had 23 points in the loss.
The tournament continues until Saturday night, with the championship game set for 8 p.m. at the Events Centre.