Kelowna's Mason Bourcier leaps for a basket against Walnut Grove during the Snowball Classic final on Saturday.

Kelowna's Mason Bourcier leaps for a basket against Walnut Grove during the Snowball Classic final on Saturday.

Walnut Grove wins Snowball Classic

Gators defeat Kelowna 90-84 on Saturday to win 57th annual tournament

Walnut Grove Gators head coach George Bergen summed up Saturday’s Snowball Classic championship game rather eloquently moments after his team downed the Kelowna Owls 90-84.

“Is there anything better than a high school basketball game,” he asked.

Bergen and the Gators captured the school’s first-ever Snowball win, in a see-saw game to cap off the tournament.

The Gators started hot, building a 23-16 lead, but the Owls awoke in the second quarter and headed into the first half with a 48-46 lead.

“Early on our shot selection was great and we made a lot of them,” Bergen said. “We defended well and caused some turnovers. But they have a guy named Mason Bourcier, he got rolling and they went on a run in the second quarter.”

Bourcier, coming off a spectacular 52 point performance on Friday, fuelled the Owls bounce back second quarter. He scored 43 against Walnut Grove, but the Owls couldn’t handle the Gators depth and the adjustments Grove made in the third quarter.

The teams were tied at 69 after three, but Walnut Grove took over in the final frame. A clutch three by Alasdair Coyle was the dagger, and James Woods made some big free throws down the stretch to earn the win.

“Down the stretch they got into foul trouble and with our size advantage we started being able to go inside on them,” Bergen said. “I told them we weren’t going to be able to stop Mason but we have to contain him. Now, 43 points doesn’t sound like containing, but I think the guys learned a lot about helping each other defensively.”

The Gators were led offensively by Ty Rowell, who was named the most valuable player of the tournament and scored 33 points in the final.

First team tournament all-stars were: Bourcier – Kelowna, Owen Keyes – Kelowna, David Wieczorek – Kelowna, Jake Cowley – Walnut Grove and Andrew Goertzen – Walnut Grove

Second team all-stars included: Alex Garcia – Rolling Hills, Chris Koon – Rolling Hills, C.J. Campbell – Burnaby South, Vince Sunga – Burnaby South and Noah Nickel – Yale

The Gators rebounded after falling to Winston Churchill in overtime in the third place game last year. This year they defeated Brentwood College 88-80 on Thursday, and the beat Burnaby South 88-59 on Friday.

The Owls beat Yale 108-75 on Thursday, and then defeated California’s Rolling Hills Prep Academy 104-92 on Friday to reach the final. It’s the second straight year that the Owls fell in the Snowball final.

Bergen said the Snowball is always a fun stop on the yearly schedule.

“I’m an Abbotsford guy and I actually played at the Snowball in the 1960s,” he said. “Why wouldn’t I want to come back here? There are always a whole bunch of competitive teams.”

Read Wednesday’s print edition for more on the Snowball Classic.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Motorists breaking travel rules can be fined $230 for failing to follow instructions or $575 if the reason for travel violates the essential travel health order, at this Highway 3 check area near Manning Park. Photo RCMP
RCMP begin stopping drivers on BC highways – check point at Manning Park

Four check points are set up Thursday May 6 around the province

The Aquilini Investment Group has agreed to a proposed contract of five years to run the Abbotsford Centre. (File photo)
Proposal to run Abbotsford Centre offered to Canucks ownership group

Planned five-year contract to cost city $750K annually, starting Jan. 1, 2022

The AHL Board of Governors has approved the Vancouver Canucks decision to move their franchise to Abbotsford. (File photo)
AHL approves Canucks’ franchise relocation to Abbotsford

Board of Governors approves move, season set to start on Oct. 15

Abbotsford Police Department Traffic Enforcement Unit officers were enforcing Highway 11 on Thursday morning. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
Abbotsford police enforce traffic on Highway 11

APD Traffic Enforcement Unit regularly responds to general public hot spot complaints

First responders were on the scene at West Oaks Mall following a collision involving a pedestrian on Sept. 29, 2020. (Kevin MacDonald file photo)
Man charged in relation to hit-and-run that injured pedestrian in Abbotsford

Collision took place in September 2020 in crosswalk at West Oaks Mall

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Surrey RCMP is investigating after a serious three-vehicle crash at the intersection of King George Boulevard and 128th Street Thursday afternoon (May 6, 2021). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
VIDEO: Serious crash in Surrey sends 1 to hospital

Surrey RCMP say one of the drivers fled on foot, but was later found at an area hospital

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

John Paul Fraser, executive director of the BC Salmon Farmers Association. (Screen shot)
Salmon farmers warn Surrey jobs on line as feds end Discovery Islands operations

344 full-time jobs at risk in Surrey and 1,189 B.C.-wide

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C.’s first electric school bus making the rounds in Victoria suburbs

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Photo of suspected cat thief released by Victoria police actually just woman with her pet

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read