MEI’s Sam Brandsma drives the ball forward against Okanagan Mission on Wednesday (March 9). (Rick MacDonald photo)

MEI’s Sam Brandsma drives the ball forward against Okanagan Mission on Wednesday (March 9). (Rick MacDonald photo)

Abbotsford’s MEI Eagles place sixth, Abby Panthers finish 11th at basketball provincials

Eagles and Panthers wrap up respective tournaments with big wins on Saturday in Langley

The MEI Eagles senior boys team started the BC high school basketball championships seeded 12th in 3A and ended the weekend ranked sixth in the province.

The Eagles opened the event with a 75-64 upset victory over the fifth-ranked Okanagan Mission Huskies on March 9 at the Langley Events Centre, but then fell to the eventual bronze medallist A.R. MacNeill Ravens 93-68 on March 10.

MEI bounced back with a 80-60 win over Princess Margaret on Friday (March 11). Gabe Vig exploded for 24 points in the Eagles win on Friday. The Eagles led 37-34 at halftime, but then took over in the second half and outscored Princess Margaret 43-26 in the third and fourth quarters.

Friday’s win advanced the Eagles to the fifth place game on Saturday (March 12) afternoon, but MEI fell 84-48 to the St. Thomas More Collegiate Knights. The Eagles struggled offensively out of the gates, falling behind 26-1 after the first quarter and were never able to recover. Sam Brandmsa scored a team high 11 points in the loss.

The 3A tournament final saw Vancouver’s St. Patrick Celtics edge the Elgin Park Orcas 56-52.

Over in the 4A tournament, the Abbotsford Panthers finished strong after a slow start and placed 11th in the province.

The Panthers entered the tournament ranked sixth, but were upset 76-71 by Fleetwood Park on March 9. The Panthers then took down Holy Cross 84-75 on March 10, but the dropped an 88-80 game to Oak Bay on Friday. Abbotsford was led by Dilveer Randhawa who collected 38 points in the loss.

Abbotsford closed off the event with an 81-79 win over the Terry Fox Ravens on Saturday afternoon.

The 4A tournament final saw the Burnaby South Rebels defeat the Semiahmoo Thunderbirds 72-57.

The senior boys tournaments conclude what was a busy three weeks at the LEC. Other Abbotsford finishers during basketball provincials included: Yale Lions (third, junior girls), Rick Hansen Hurricanes (12th, junior boys), Yale Lions (sixth, 4A senior girls), Abbotsford Panthers (seventh, 4A senior girls), MEI Eagles (second, 3A senior girls), Robert Bateman Timberwolves (ninth, 3A senior girls) and Abbotsford Traditional Titans (ninth, 2A senior girls).

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