Thunder and Lightning prevailed on Friday, Dec. 9, as a pair of Tsumura Basketball Invitational titles were awarded while the remaining bracket saw its two finalists determined on Friday at Langley Events Centre.
Victoria’s Spectrum Thunder won the Draw 2 (Bracket) championship while the Langley Christian Lightning captured the Draw 3 (Regional) championship in the two 8-team brackets. And in the 16-team Draw 1 (Tournament) bracket, the Kelowna Owls and Oak Bay (Victoria) Bays won their respective semi-final games and will meet on Saturday night at 8:30pm.
DRAW 3 (REGIONAL) CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL: LANGLEY CHRISTIAN 72 R.E. MOUNTAIN 64
With just two full practices as a team – they were missing players who helped capture the provincial volleyball banner over the weekend – Langley Christian Lightning head coach Brodan Thiel was not sure what to expect when his team took the court at the Tsumura Basketball Invitational.
But it’s fair to say, the coach was more than pleased with the end results.
The Lightning struck quickly and often in opening the game on a 12-0 run against the R.E. Mountain Eagles in the championship final of Draw 3 at the Tsumura Basketball Invitational on Friday morning at Langley Events Centre.
Buoyed by that quick start, LCS was ahead 19-6 through a period before the Eagles found their offensive game, scoring 28 points in the next 10 minutes to send the game into halftime knotted at 37. But with a chance to regroup his team, the Lightning notched the first seven points of the third quarter, re-establishing the lead for the rest of the game as they won 72-64.
“Those wore dominant periods in the game for us, but when we got into foul trouble and had to rotate guys into positions that they are not comfortable with at this point in the season,” Thiel said. “Luckily, we have a system that we run through most of our grades. We were just running read and react and the principles and all the plays, so it is easy to sub in guys on the fly.”
It capped off a run of three victories in three days where they won by 19 points per games.
“Opening the season with three wins is amazing. We could not have asked for three separate cardio sessions than we just got,” he added.
Carter vanderWaarde was the Championship Player of the Game following an 18-point outing.
“He shoots the ball so well. First game was a tough one for him but as the games went on, he kept shooting and thankfully they started rolling in for him. He shoots such a high percentage, we just knew they would eventually fall and today they did,” Thiel said.
The Lightning’s Braden Wager was chosen as the Most Valuable Player.
“He put in a lot of work this summer and came in and was a dominant player these last three games on the defensive end and the offensive end. The sky is the limit for him,” the coach added.
Mountain was led by 15 points apiece from Dajean Clarke and #9 while #15 had 13 points.
DRAW 2 (BRACKET) CHAMPIONSHIP: SPECTRUM 79 NORTH DELTA 62
Three more victories – including in the championship final on Friday in the 8-team Draw 2 (Bracket) – has Victoria’s Spectrum Thunder sitting at 7-0 on the season.
“It is really cool to see the guys really feel it, realize ‘we can actually play and compete as a team,’” said Thunder coach Tyler Verde. “We are still young and really coming up still so this is huge for us.”
Facing the North Delta Huskies for the TBI trophy, Spectrum took a slim 4-point lead at 36-32 into the locker room for halftime.
“The big thing for us all year has been our third quarter. We came out in the second half and really limited our turnovers – that has given us some problems, get some key stops, and we are really hard to stop in transition. Our guards are crazy fast and Tyler (Felt) and Justin (Hinrichsen) getting rebounds and pushing it themselves, we are a really tough team to stop,” the coach said, referencing Felt (the Championship Player of the Game) and Hinrichsen (Most Valuable Player).
Felt led the way offensively with 28 points while Hinrichsen struggled from the field (10 points) but continued to dominate the boards, pulling down 17 rebounds, which is right around his season average.
“(Justin) was the key for us on defence. He is not the biggest guy, he doesn’t weigh that much, but he has an amazing knack for the ball and he is only getting better offensively,” Verde said.
North Delta’s H. Hothi led the way for the Huskies with 19 points.
DRAW 1 (TOURNAMENT) SEMI-FINALS
KELOWNA 74 BURNABY SOUTH 65 and OAK BAY 85 VANCOUVER COLLEGE 70
A huge third quarter booked the Kelowna Owls a spot in the TBI Tournament Championship final.
Ahead by a pair of points at the break, the Owls held the Burnaby South Rebels to 7 points over the next 10 minutes, stretching their lead to 14 points in a 74-65 win. Nash Semeniuk led Kelowna with 24 points while Lordrikk Gutierrez scored 19 for the Rebels.
Down by a pair of points with a quarter to play, the Oak Bay Bays exploded for 29 points in an 85-70 win over the Vancouver College Fighting Irish. Griffin Arnatt scored 32 for Oak Bay while Vancouver College’s Mikyle Malabuyoc had 17.
For full tournament schedule, results and rosters, please visit www.langleyeventscentre.com/tbi
There is no cost to attend the games, which will also be streamed online for free at www.tfsetv.ca
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