It was as close as they come.
With two seconds on the clock — and trailing by a point after three successful free throws by Prince George’s Duchess Park Condors — North Delta Secondary Huskies guard Suraj Gahir pulled up a jump shot from the top of the key and sank a field goal, sealing the win for his team and securing them a spot in the 3A finals at the 2019 BC High School Basketball Championships.
Gahir, playing with an ankle injury sustained in the Fraser Valley tournament last month, had a game-high 28 points as well as 15 rebounds, three blocks and three steals, on the way to the Huskies’ 62-61 victory. Point guard Arun Atker was North Delta’s next-highest scorer with 12 points, four rebounds and one steal.
“My coach told me I missed a shot in Grade 9 against Kamloops for the win. He told me, ‘we go for the win, or we lose. We don’t go for no tie’,” Gahr told reporters after the game.
Referring to legendary Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant’s approach of always going for the win no matter the circumstances, Gahir said, “I knew I had to get that one back, I got that Mamba mentality.”
— Ravi kahlon (@KahlonRav) March 9, 2019
The two teams essentially traded baskets for much of the game and were tied at half-time with 28 points each. In the third quarter, Duchess Park managed to pull ahead by eight point, only to see their lead dwindle after crucial points scored by the Huskies.
Ahead of the game, Huskies coach Gary Sandhu told the Reporter it helped that his team went into the championships without the pressure of being the top team, adding that he expected a close game. The Huskies bested top seed Sir Charles Tupper on Thursday night and won commandingly against the Byrne Creek Bulldogs the night before.
“When it was about 50 seconds [left on the clock], I didn’t think [Duchess Park] were going to come back. When they went out and scored, I said we’re going to need a miracle to come back … but there was enough time for Suraj to set up and he’s the type of player that if you give him enough time, he’ll hit it,” Sandhu said after the game.
The Huskies are playing the Vernon Panthers for the championship title tonight at 6 p.m. at the Langley Events Centre. The game can be live streamed for a fee for those who can’t make it to the venue.