For the first time in school history, the Rick Hansen Hurricanes senior boys basketball team has earned a provincial medal.
The Hurricanes downed the St. Thomas More Collegiate Knights 74-68 in the 3A conference’s third-place game in Langley on Saturday to earn the school’s first-ever bronze medal. The third-place showing is the best finish in Hansen history.
Bronze medal player of the game and graduating senior Joban Pandher scored 14 points in the win, and said the bronze medal has set a new standard for the team.
“It’s the best the school has ever done and it leaves a legacy,” he said following the game.
The Hurricanes built up a 12-point lead in the first quarter, and avoided a third-quarter surge from the Knights to post the win. It comes off the heels of a heartbreaking 84-82 to Steveston-London on Friday.
“It wasn’t easy to come back after a loss like that,” Pandher said. “But we finished this off together. This is for sure my best memory as a part of this team.”
Pandher was also named to the 3A tournament first team all-star team for his efforts throughout the entire tournament. Hansen also posted wins on Wednesday and Thursday before the loss on Friday.
Pandher said he hopes to continue his hoops career in college next year, and said he has high expectations for next year’s Hurricanes squad.
In the 4A conference, the W.J. Mouat Hawks senior boys team came up a little short.
After falling in the final minute in the semi-final game to lose 82-81 to Tamanawis on Friday, the Hawks stumbled in the third-place game’s dying moments on Saturday, losing 94-92 to Walnut Grove.
The fourth-place showing is one of the best in school history, and the team was led by sharpshooter Jass Singh, who had 33 points. Jordyn Sekhon had 19 points and 13 rebounds, while Kenan Hadzovic added 22 points and eight rebounds.
Saturday ended a tremendous run in the 4A tournament for the Hawks, who entered the event ranked seventh. Mouat picked up wins on Wednesday and Thursday to qualify for the final four.
The Hawks were named most inspirational team and earned best school spirit at the tournament. Sekhon was named to the tournament first team all-star team, while Singh was named to the second team.
Bateman’s Nate Friesen was named a first team all star, and the Timberwolves were also named most sportsmanlike team in the 3A conference.
The 4A defending champion Yale Lions finished 12th, ending their season with a 104-77 loss to Winston Churchill on Saturday.
Over in the 2A conference, the Abbotsford Christian Knights closed the tournament with a 93-78 loss to St. Thomas Aquinas to place eighth.
For complete results from the event, visit bchighschoolbasketballchampionships.com.