WRCA falls to Walnut Grove in Valley hoops final
The White Rock Christian Warriors will head to B.C. Boys AAA High School Basketball Championships as a top-four seed after placing second in the Fraser Valley.
Saturday at the Langley Events Centre, WRCA dropped a 73-64 decision to the Walnut Grove Gators, despite a fourth-quarter comeback attempt that fell just short.
White Rock trailed entering the final quarter, but fought back to tie the game briefly, before the Gators again pulled away for the win.
Walnut Grove's Jadon Cohee was named tournament MVP, and three Warriors were named all-stars – Tyus Allen and Vartan Tanelian were picked for the first team, while Sam Ykema was named a second-team all-star.
Prior to facing off in Saturday's final, both Walnut Grove and White Rock Christian had already qualified for provincials earlier in the week; the top eight Fraser Valley squads advanced.
Walnut Grove, who finished second at provincials last year and enter this year's tournament as the No. 1 seed, advanced to finals after an 86-68 victory over Abbotsford's Yale Lions in semifinals.
White Rock, meanwhile, defeated W.J. Mouat 67-51 in semifinals, and officially punched its ticket to the provincial tourney four days earlier, defeating Enver Creek 97-78.
Enver Creek and White Rock Christian are the only two Surrey teams to qualify for the tournament, which runs March 12-16 at the Langley Events Centre. Tamanawis was in the running for a provincial berth until back-to-back losses Monday and Tuesday, to Walnut Grove and Pitt Meadows, respectively.
Grade 8s advance
The WRCA senior boys won't be the only Peninsula hoops team playing for a provincial banner this month, as the Elgin Park Orcas Grade 8 girls squad also advanced to B.C. championships.
The Orcas finished fifth in the Fraser Valley tournament last week, winning all but their first game, which they dropped to Panorama Ridge, who went on to win the event.
Elgin Park's Danielle Steer was named a Fraser Valley first-team all-star.
Grade 8 provincials – both boys and girls – will be hosted by Pitt Meadows Secondary March 7-9.
Last week, Semiahmoo Secondary's junior boys basketball team also advanced to provincials, which are scheduled to be played at Vancouver College from March 6-9.