WRCA Warriors close in on provincial berth

White Rock Christian Academy’s Peter Spangehl pulls down a rebound Friday night against the North Delta Huskies in the second round of Fraser Valley AAA championships. - Gord Goble photo
White Rock Christian Academy’s Peter Spangehl pulls down a rebound Friday night against the North Delta Huskies in the second round of Fraser Valley AAA championships.
— image credit: Gord Goble photo

The White Rock Christian Academy Warriors are one win away from  the provincials.

The senior boys basketball team – which has failed to qualify for B.C. AAA championships just once since the 1998/99 season – needed a win Monday against the Enver Creek Cougars to secure a top-eight spot in the Fraser Valley and a spot in the provincial tournament.

Monday’s game was played after Peace Arch News’ press deadlines. The Warriors are the top seed in the 32-team 32-team Fraser Valley tournament, and began the tourney with two wins last week.

On Wednesday, the Warriors opened with a 88-44 victory over the 32nd-ranked Clayton Heights Night Riders at WRCA, and followed up on Friday night with another win on their home court, 83-67 over the North Delta Huskies.

Sixteen teams still have a chance to grab one of eight Valley spots at the B.C. showdown, which is slated for March 12-16  at the Langley Events Centre.

A win Monday guarantees WRCA a top-four finish in the region. The final rounds of the Valley showdown will be held Thursday through Saturday at Fleetwood Park Secondary and the LEC.

Prior to tipping off at the Valleys, White Rock head coach Dale Shury said he wanted his team to return to the form that saw them win three straight tournaments in January. And while they appear to be back to that level, the coach said there’s still more to give.

“I believe we’re back there to that January mode, but now it’s time to go into March-mode, and pick it up even more,” Shury said.

Against the Huskies Friday, the Warriors were led by senior co-captain Vartan Tanelian, who had 23 points. All five starters, in fact, finished in double figures – Tyus Allen had 20, Peter Spangehl had 15, Sam Ykema chipped in with 14 and Sam Perrin had 12.

As a team, they also shot 53 per cent from the three-point territory, which helped them jump out to a 22-9 lead after just one quarter.

“That first quarter really dictated the game,” Shury said.

Lord Tweedsmuir and Tamanawis are also still in the hunt for one of the eight B.C. spots, but Elgin Park and Semiahmoo were both eliminated in the first round Wednesday.

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