Grade 10 student, Joel Blanco, raises above the rim at a shoot-around in the SRT gym. (Ronan O’Doherty - THE NEWS)

Grade 10 student, Joel Blanco, raises above the rim at a shoot-around in the SRT gym. (Ronan O’Doherty - THE NEWS)

Young, athletic SRT basketball team slams its way into provincials

Squad will face off against best in B.C. at Langley’s Event Centre March 4 to 7

A plucky Samuel Robertson Technical senior boys basketball team punched its ticket to the provincials last Tuesday (Feb. 24).

The squad, which is mainly made up of Grade 11 players, bested Port Coquitlam’s Arch Bishop Carney Secondary 72-69 in a tight overtime game to clinch the 2020 Fraser North Championship.

Trailing by 12 to start the fourth quarter, the Titans used pressure defense and solid rebounding to tie the game up in regulation.

READ MORE: Titans grab second straight junior girls league title

With the momentum in their favour, the boys went up by as much as six in the overtime period and held on for the win.

Lucas Hutchinson led the way with 19 points, Anthony Katinic and Ranier Manding chipped in 13 and 10 points respectively, Joel Blanco added eight points to go along with his outstanding rebounding, and Geismund De la Cruz chipped in seven points while going 4-4 from the foul line.

Head coach, Scott Tomlin sees a bright future for the Titans.

“This is a really young team, which makes us really special,” he said. “I only lose one guy next year, as most of the team are Grade 11s.

“I’ve got two Grade 10s and one Grade 12.”

Tomlin said throughout the season the team has been talking about success as a two year process.

“We were going to do the best we could this year and we were really looking forward to next year but when we got a little bit closer [to the end of the season] we thought, hey, we are doing really well going down the stretch, and everything’s falling into place.”

They will now play against the top 16 teams in B.C. at the Provincial AA Championships in Langley this week (March 4 to 7), and are going to have to use their myriad gifts to make their mark.

“They are incredibly athletically talented kids,” their coach noted. “And they are big.

“I’ve been around for almost 30 years and I’ve never had kids this big. Every year you have one kid who can dunk and I have three kids who are dunking.

“We’re a small school, so it’s a bit of an anomaly.”

This week, they will need to trust in their skills to make their mark, the coach said.

“They’ve got to mature and believe this is possible,” said Tomlin.

“If they do their potential is unlimited.”

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