The W.J. Mouat Hawks senior boys are no longer the bridesmaids at the Abbotsford Police City Basketball Tournament.
After finishing second in both 2016 and 2015, the Hawks dominated at this year’s event and defeated the MEI Eagles in Saturday’s final at Columbia Bible College.
After a first quarter that saw the Hawks and the MEI Eagles tied at 23, Mouat took over in the second and turned it on even more in the second half to win 89-57.
The Hawks led 43-34 at halftime, and then led 70-49 after three quarters.
“We shot it really well in the second half – I think we made like 11 three-pointers,” said Hawks head coach Rich Ralston after the win. “They began playing zone on us and we had some good looks and managed to knock them down. Our guys also did a better job rebounding in the second half, and we were able to get on transition fast and run a little bit.”
Ralston said it was a nice way for his team to head into the holiday break.
“I’m happy for them and it’s a good thing for our confidence,” he said. “All these guys play against each other in Grade 8, 9 and junior but once you get to senior everyone gets divided into tiers. This is the one event you’re guaranteed to play against Abby schools, for example it’s a not a regular occurrence for us to play MEI but it was fun to match up against them.”
Ralston and the Hawks are currently ranked fourth in the province in AAAA, and he said he likes what he’s seen from his team early into the season.
“We were missing a few guys with injuries early but it’s a long season,” he said. “We like to run and the guys are having a lot of fun out there but we’re continuing to try to improve – we’re not a finished product yet.”
Harvir Garcha of the Hawks and Isaiah Reimer of the Eagles earned player of the game honours.
The Hawks beat Yale to advance to the final, while the Eagles took down Hansen.
Meanwhile, the Yale Lions recaptured the senior girls crown, beating the Bateman Timberwolves 63-52.
Bateman led for most of the game, and were up by as much as 39-26 early in the third, but the Lions battled back in the second half. The fourth quarter saw the Lions outscore the Wolves 14-0 to secure the win.
Lions head coach Celeste Dyck said she was proud of the way her team refused to give up.
“We missed a lot of shots early on but I think we stayed calm and proved how good of a veteran team we are by not quitting and coming away with the win,” she said. “Sapna Deo really stepped up in the second half for us, and I really feel like we know how to turn it up when we have to.”
Dyck said her team has had a strong start to the season, winning the recent Cascades Classic tournament and she said she believes her team has a great chance to challenge for a provincial title.
Yale’s Sapna Deo and Bateman’s Jayden Gill earned their team’s respective player of the game honours.
Yale defeated Mouat to reach the final, while Bateman defeated MEI.
The Lions senior girls had previously lost to the Abbotsford Panthers in 2016, but beat the Eagles back in 2015.
Yale was most recently ranked tenth in the province for the AAA tier.
The Panthers, ranked second in the province in the AAA tier, did not participate in the tournament this year, as they were competing at the Tsumura Basketball Invitational event in Langley over the weekend.
Other results from Championship Saturday included:
Junior boys: Abbotsford Senior over Abbotsford Traditional 57-45 – players of the game: Karn Brar (Abby) and Gurkirat Banwait (ATSS)
Junior girls: Yale Lions beating W.J. Mouat 54-25 – POG: Marissa Rodde (Yale) and Amreet Rai (Mouat)
Grade 8 boys: Clayburn Middle defeating Abby Middle 50-46 – POG: Quinten Kobes (Clayburn) and Jalevon Maksymin (Abby)
Grade 8 girls: MEI Eagles over Clayburn Middle 54-27 – POG: Gabby Marazzi (MEI) and Sarah Korstrom (Clayburn)
Grade 9 boys: Abbotsford Senior beating Rick Hansen 57-50 – POG: Sahil Sidhu (Abby) and Jayden Bains (Hansen)
Grade 9 girls: Rick Hansen defeating Dasmesh 53-20 – POG: Priya Kaler (Hansen) and Arshdeep Gill (Dasmesh)
For complete results from the event, visit abbypdbasketball.com.