Bateman boys hoopsters climb podium at home tourney

John Beckerleg of the Bateman T-Wolves protects the ball against pressure from a Heritage Park defender during opening-round action at Bateman
John Beckerleg of the Bateman T-Wolves protects the ball against pressure from a Heritage Park defender during opening-round action at Bateman's senior boys basketball tournament on Thursday. The T-Wolves won 67-56.
— image credit: Dan Kinvig

The senior and junior boys basketball teams from Robert Bateman Secondary both notched podium finishes at their home tournament last weekend.

The Timberwolves seniors opened the event with a 67-56 win over the Heritage Park Highlanders, but dropped a heartbreaking one-point decision to the Brookswood Bobcats in the semifinals. The Bobcats hit a free throw with 11 seconds left to take the lead, and Bateman centre Kent Hicks missed a shot at the buzzer.

But the T-Wolves bounced back, beating the Vernon Panthers 79-69 on Saturday to claim the bronze, and combo guard Parm Sidhu picked up team MVP honours.

Kelowna Christian, the No. 6-ranked AA team in the province, took gold, blasting Brookswood 67-30 in the final behind an MVP performance from Ryan Linttell.

"We would have liked to be in the final – that was our goal," Bateman senior coach Matt Mills noted. "A couple things didn't go our way in the semifinal.

"But after losing in the semis, we were pretty happy to finish with a win."

The T-Wolves seniors are in a tough AAA Abbotsford East division featuring the No. 1-ranked team in the province, the Yale Lions, along with the honourable mention Sardis Falcons and a tough Abby Senior Panthers squad.

"Every team is good," noted Mills, whose team currently sits at 1-4 in league play. "If you want to steal a victory, you've got to bring your A game."

On the junior boys side of the tourney, Abby Senior beat the host T-Wolves 53-41 in the title game. Moeiz Athaya scored 19 points for the Panthers en route to MVP honours, while Jacob Thiel was Bateman's team MVP.

"I felt like we played really hard," T-Wolves junior boys coach Virinder Braich said. "Right now, we're just 10 points behind Abby Senior as a team, but I've seen a lot of improvement from our players going into the playoffs.

"The goal is be peaking in the next few weeks, and I think we're working towards that."

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