An untimely shooting slump brought an end to the Yale Lions’ defence of their provincial AAA boys basketball title.
The Lions dropped a 66-53 decision to the Gleneagle Talons of Coquitlam on Thursday evening during Fraser Valley Tournament action at Thomas Haney Secondary. The game was an all-or-nothing proposition – the winner advanced to provincials, while the loser was done.
Yale got a big game from Jordan Blackman, who scored over 30 points. But the Lions’ secondary scoring was nonexistent – after Blackman, the most prolific producers were Nakai Luyken, with seven points, and J.J. Pankratz, with five.
Yale coach Al Friesen said his team’s confidence shooting the ball eroded over the course of the game, and the Lions’ smallish lineup struggled to extend possessions by corralling offensive rebounds.
“We don’t get many second opportunities because we’re not very big,” Friesen said. “So when we don’t shoot well, we don’t generate much. We don’t have a way to erase our mistakes.”
• The MEI Eagles senior girls saw their season come to an end earlier in the week, as they fell 59-49 to Kalamalka in a wild card game with a AA provincial berth on the line.
“We just didn’t play with a lot of energy,” Eagles coach Rick Thiessen said. “We’d played exceptionally last weekend to finish third in the Valley, and I think we had an emotional letdown.”
Olivia Loewen had a big game for MEI, racking up 15 points and 12 rebounds.
• The W.J. Mouat Hawks senior boys take on the Walnut Grove Gators in the AAA Fraser Valley semifinals tonight at Haney Secondary. Tip-off is 7:45 p.m.