by Dan Kinvig
Brandt Lenz authored a memorable highlight as the first day of the three-on-three basketball tournament at the BC Summer Games approached its conclusion.
Lenz and his Fraser Valley boys team were deadlocked at 13-13 with the Vancouver Island-Central Coast A squad at the end of regulation on Friday evening, necessitating overtime.
In OT, the time clock is shut off and the first team to two points wins. Shots from beyond the arc are worth two points (everything else is worth one), and that’s where Lenz found himself with the ball in his hands a couple of possessions into the extra session. He squared up and launched, and the ball swished through to give his team a 15-13 victory.
If Lenz looked at home in the Abbotsford Middle School gym, it’s because he is – he’s going into Grade 8 at Abby Middle in the fall.
“We had to get two points, and I came off a cut, and the two defenders got caught and I was open,” he recounted afterward. “I wanted to hit that shot.”
That thriller was the first of back-to-back games for the Fraser Valley squad, and they seemed to run out of gas against Vancouver-Coastal C in their last game of Gold pool play. Vancouver-Coastal C raced out to a huge lead and cruised to a 21-7 victory.
That result, combined with an earlier 13-11 win over Vancouver Island-Central Coast A, gave Vancouver-Coastal C first place in the Gold pool with a 2-0 record.
“It’s tough, because this pool only has two teams in it, so you only get two games,” noted Vancouver-Coastal coach Harley Rollins. “We didn’t know what was going to happen. It was a tough first game and we got some luck at the end of that one, and then in this game, the other team (Fraser Valley) had to play right beforehand. We had one of our fast guys against a bigger guy, and he was able to get a few on him.”
Rollins said that his team’s success in pool play was largely due to its depth.
“We don’t have any weak players,” he analyzed. “Nobody’s a superstar, but all our guys are pretty good, so that helps.”
In other three-on-three boys action, Vancouver Island-Central Coast posted a 3-0 record to win the White pool.
On the girls side, Vancouver-Coastal A and Thompson-Okanagan A tied for first place in the White pool with 2-1 records. Girls Gold pool games were continuing Friday evening.
The three-on-three playoffs tip off at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday morning at Abby Middle.