High school basketball playoffs open

It’s playoff time for high school basketball, and no team is entering the postseason hotter than the Yale Lions junior boys basketball team.

The Lions are on an 18-game winning streak since before Christmas, including tournament wins at the Greg Taylor Classic on Vancouver Island, Enver Creek and their home tournament.

Along the way, Yale sharpshooter Bradley Braich established a new single-game record for scoring in a 32-minute junior boys game. Braich lit the scoreboard up in January, scoring 51 points, including nine three-pointers.

Yale is seeded second in the Abbotsford Mission Secondary Sports Athletic Association city tournament, and opened with a 91-50 win on Tuesday.

Other action saw Hansen beat Mission 56-43, MEI beat ACS 82-28, and Mouat beating Abby Senior 76-41. The finals for the junior boys occurs at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday at MEI.

The top five teams from the tournament move on to the Fraser Valley tournament, and then seven teams from that event advance to the provincials. MEI, Mouat and Yale have been consistently ranked in the top 10 in the province all season.

“The zone is very tough,” said Lions junior boys head coach Bobby Braich. “But we’re going into the playoffs on a high. The guys know their roles and they grind it out, and I think they know what they need to do to win.”

Mouat also enters the tournament on a hot streak, after winning the Notre Dame tournament on Saturday.

The Hawks picked up a default win over Bodwell to open the tournament, and then beat the St. Thomas Aquinas 73-49 in the semi-final.

They then defeated the host Notre Dame 50-45 in the final.

Hawks player Harvir Garcha was named tournament MVP. Mouat heads into the tournament ranked third.

The MEI Eagles, a perfect 10-0 in league play, enter the tournament as the number one seed. Hansen is ranked fourth, with a record of 7-3.

Other top seeds for the ASSAA tournaments occurring this week include: Abbotsford Middle Huskies (Grade 8 boys), WA Fraser Falcons (Grade 8 girls), Mouat Hawks (Grade 9 boys), Abbotsford Christian Knights (Grade 9 girls), and Yale Lions (junior girls).