The White Rock Warriors were not considered among the top contenders prior to tip-off of the BC High School Boys Basketball Championships earlier this week.
In fact, WRCA was one of eight low-seeded teams forced to play a play-in game Tuesday for the chance to advance into the main draw.
My, how things have changed.
Now, with two days left in the tournament, the 10th-ranked Warriors – who’ve won three B.C. AAA titles in school history, and finished second three times, too – are one of just four teams left in title contention.
On Thursday evening at the Langley Events Centre, the underdog Warriors defeated a higher-seeded squad for the second game in a row, beating the arch-rival Tamanawis Wildcats 75-65, led by a 26-point effort by six-foot-seven senior forward Jake Newman.
A day prior, WRCA knocked off the third-seeded St. George’s Saints.
White Rock and Tamanawis played each other close for the first three quarters of action – which was delayed momentarily in the first quarter when the lights at the LEC suddenly went dark. But WRCA went on an 11-0 run in the fourth frame to pull away.
In addition to Newman’s 26 points, Kristophe Baerg had 11 and Tyus Allen and Vartan Tanelian had 10 each.
Now, WRCA advances to semifinals tonight (Friday) against Terry Fox, who upset the No. 2-ranked Pitt Meadows Marauders in lopsided fashion Thursday, winning 66-30.
Had Tamanawis been able to win Thursday, they would have become the first Surrey public school to advance to the AAA provincial Final Four since the North Surrey Spartans lost to Abbotsford in the 1983 championship game.