The high school boys basketball season is set to tip off in style next week, as the University of the Fraser Valley hosts the third annual Valley Battle.
The exhibition doubleheader, which runs next Wednesday at the Envision Athletic Centre, features four top teams from the Fraser Valley – Abbotsford’s own W.J. Mouat Hawks and Yale Lions, along with the White Rock Christian Academy Warriors and the Heritage Woods Kodiaks of Port Moody.
Yale takes on Heritage Woods at 6 p.m., followed by Mouat vs. WRCA at 8 p.m.
Barnaby Craddock, head coach of the Cascades men’s basketball team, said the early-season exhibition has become a much-anticipated fixture on the B.C. hoops calendar. It also affords the university a valuable opportunity to welcome top high school athletes to campus.
“Everyone’s excited to see high school basketball get going in the Fraser Valley and in B.C., and it’s going to be fun to have these teams in our gym,” Craddock said. “No only do we have some very good teams, there are some very exciting players in the tournament.”
Mouat opens the season ranked No. 3 in B.C., while WRCA is No. 5 and Heritage Woods is an honourable mention.
Mouat’s Grade 10 centre Tristan Etienne and Yale guard Jauquin Bennett-Boire are considered two of the top players in their age group in Canada, while seniors to watch include Mouat’s Jesse Coy, Yale’s Trevor Berge, White Rock’s Jake Newman, and Mitch Ligertwood of Heritage Woods.