Burnaby South and Rolling Hills players battle for the ball during the Snowball Classic final on Saturday. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)

VIDEO: California’s Rolling Hills Huskies win Abbotsford’s Snowball Classic

Huskies capture first-ever Snowball crown with 75-69 win over Burnaby South Rebels

The Rolling Hills Prep Huskies erased the stinging disappointment they felt in 2017, by capturing the 2020 Snowball Classic basketball tournament title on Saturday night.

The California-based team defeated the Burnaby South Rebels 75-69 to win the 60th edition of the event.

The Huskies were led by J.T. Tan, who was named the tournament’s most valuable player.

This year’s Snowball Classic was actually delayed one day, starting on Thursday instead of Wednesday, due to the extreme winter weather the Fraser Valley experienced last week.

The Huskies opened with a 101-41 win over Charles Tupper on Thursday, and then exacted some revenge on the team that beat them in 2017 – the Kelowna Owls – by disposing of them 107-53 on Friday.

Those wins advanced Rolling Hills to Saturday’s final and the date against the Rebels.

The 2017 tournament saw the Huskies fall 104-92 to Kelowna in the semifinal, a result that surprised many basketball observers.

RELATED: VIDEO: Kelowna upsets Rolling Hills at Snowball Classic

Burnaby South kicked off the tournament with a 107-44 over Abbotsford’s W.J. Mouat Hawks and then defeated Cenetennial 80-63 on Friday. It’s the second straight year the Rebels have advanced to the Snowball Classic final, falling 95-77 to New York’s Mount Vernon Knights in 2019.

RELATED: VIDEO: 2019 Snowball Classic Basketball tournament

Centennial beat Kelowna 82-66 in the third place game on Saturday.

The host Abbotsford Panthers had a strong showing at the event, defeating Bateman 106-55 on Thursday morning but then narrowly losing 84-81 to Kelowna on Thursday evening. The club then lost 74-69 to Charles Tupper on Friday, before ending the tournament on a high note with a 76-46 win over St. George’s on Saturday.

Abbotsford’s Yale Lions also performed well, falling 94-81 to Centennial on Thursday but then beating Mouat 110-68 and edging Charles Tupper 66-65.

Tournament all-stars included: Vaughn Flowers (Rolling Hills), Benny Gealer (Rolling Hills), Justin Sunga (Burnaby South), Sasha Vujisic (Burnaby South), Hunter Simson (Kelowna), Leif Skelding (Centennial), Dominic Parolin (Centennial), Matt Dunkerley (Charles Tupper), Joseph Ho (Yale) and Karn Brar (Abbotsford).

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