One turnover proved to be the difference in Saturday’s electrifying senior boys final of the Abbotsford Police City Basketball Tournament.
Gershaun Sarowa’s pair of successful free throws with five seconds left sealed the deal to earn Mouat the 96-95 win, and the Hawks repeated as senior boys champions at the event.
But it was by no means easy, as a fast and skilled Panthers team refused to give up and pushed the game to the extra frame despite trailing 83-79 with a minute left. The teams knotted at 84 after four quarters sending the fans at Columbia Bible College into a frenzy.
Mouat’s Sarowa was named the game’s most valuable player and his shot was silky smooth and accurate all night long. He collected a game-high 38 points in the win, and earned a plaque and tickets to the Fraser Valley Bandits home opener on May 19 for his efforts.
Sran contributed with 22 for Mouat, with Manvir Johal adding 10.
The Panthers led 21-17 after one, and 38-36 at the half, but the Hawks caught fire in the third and led 61-60.
Abby was led by Karn Brar with 25 points, and Jalen Edwards was a force all game long scoring 22. Panthers guard Mark Destura also contributed offensively with 16. Brar earned player of the game honours for the Panthers.
Mouat began pulling away late in the fourth, building up leads of 75-71, 79-75 and 83-79, but each time the Panthers fought back. Edwards tied the game up with 15 seconds left to send the game to overtime.
The Panthers took down MEI 117-61 on Wednesday and then beat Rick Hansen 104-62 on Thursday to advance to the final. The Hawks beat Robert Bateman 75-34 on Wednesday and then defeated Abbotsford Traditional 92-54 on Thursday to qualify for Saturday.
It’s the second straight senior boys city championship for the Hawks, as they defeated the MEI Eagles at last year’s event.
The Lions opened up a 40-26 lead at the half, and cruised to the win. Yale’s Karishma Rai earned most valuable player of the game honours, scoring 19 points to lead her team. Bateman superstar Jayden Gill scored 20 points and was named Bateman’s top player of the game.
The Lions crushed the Abbotsford Traditional Titans 111-11 on Wednesday, and beat Mouat 64-41 on Thursday to move on to the championship. Bateman defeated Hansen 71-17 on Wednesday, and then downed MEI 58-48 on Thursday to qualify for the title game.
Other division winners included: Yale (junior boys and junior girls), C.G. Howe (Grade 8 boys), Abbotsford Middle (Grade 8 girls), Abbotsford Senior (Grade 9 boys) and Abbotsford Traditional (Grade 9 girls).
For more on the tournament, read Wednesday’s print edition of the Abbotsford News.