#3-ranked Rebels crowned Western Canada Champions
Follow Tariq Sbiet on Twitter: @Tsbiet
KELOWNA,BC–Every Year, one team earns the right to be called the best team on the west coast of Canada. This season, it was the #3-ranked Burnaby South Rebels of Burnaby, British Columbia.
Burnaby South beat tournament host, Kelowna Owls 81-69 to capture the championship. Although a 12-point victory, the game was much closer than the scoreboard suggests. The teams traded baskets until Kelowna was forced to foul in order to stretch out the game.
Entering this year’s tournament, each team was well aware of the level of competition they were facing, as some called it the toughest pool of teams assembled in recent memory.
Head coach of the champs, Greg Matic attests to the magnitude of such an event.
“Nothing matches this experience…it’s the whole community, whole school, whole administration; an experience of a life time for our kids.”
Playing in a hostile environment against the host, Kelowna Owls, among a crowd hovering around 2,500 passionate fans; it was very easy for the Rebels to lose composure.
“We never doubted anything, we weren’t phased about who we were playing,” said Rebels forward, Daniel Edwards.
“It was intense, they [the fans] shut right up near the end, it was awesome,” he laughed, referrring to the “crazy owls.”
With the clock ticking down, emotion began spilling over, as Burnaby could smell the gold. Confident reactions to the crowd, hugs and fist pumps indicated it was their time, their moment to grasp for the rest of their lives.
“That’s their personality, you got to let the kids be who they are as long as their within the guidelines. They’re very firy, very emotional, and they are kids,” Matic laughed.
It’s safe to say that the Rebels have stapled their name as the top team in Western Canada; at least for the time being.
“A month from now, we’re going to be a different team and that’s the scary part,” said Matic.
The most important factor is consistency for the Rebels. They plan on working on their execution between present time and provincials in March, the ultimate prize.
However, it was evident that the team out of Raymond, Alberta, the Raymond Comets earned their respect.
“They’re unbelievable, for a school of 240 students, [should be single A] playing up with the AAA teams and dominating, it’s amazing.”
Led by a powerful duo composed of electric PG, Jimmy Ralph and bouncy forward, Tyson McIntyre, the Comets put up a fight but were ultimately routed by the Rebels 81-66.
Nick Irvine demonstrated his best Kevin Love impersonation to the tune of 22 points & 20 rebounds, while Manroop Clair “shut down” Jimmy Ralph holding him to 24 frustrating points.
“To give them their first loss of the season, that tells you something,” Matic explained.
“Yeah, you could say we’re the number one team on the west coast.”
Tournament MVP: Ater Degal
Tournament First Team: Michael Farion (Holy Cross), Manroop Clair (B. South), Jimmy Ralph (Raymond), & Braxston Bunce (Kelowna) Vijay Dhillon (Palmer),
Tournament Second Team: 2nd Team all-stars: Billy Cheng & Mike Zayas (RC Palmer), Deboe Truss & Mitch Goodwin (Kelowna), Vince Tolentino (Vancouver College)
The following is a compilation of the tournaments FULL results along with top performers for each game:
- Burnaby South- 79 Top Performers: Ater Degal-23pts,7ast,3stl/Manroop Clair-20pts,3ast,2rbs
- Kelvin-70 Top Performers: Randall Viray-16pts,4bs,2ast,4stl Michael Thorne-Finch-15pts,11rbs,3ast
- Bishop Grandin-64 Top Performers: Eddie Asomoah-19pts,7rbs/John Hegwood-9pts,7rbs
- R.C Palmer-85 Top Performers: Vijay Dhillon-20pts,9rbs/Billy Cheng-20pts,4rbs,5ast,8stl
- Vancouver College-76 Top Performers: Reiner Theil- 21pts,14rbs,3stl/Vince Tolentino-17pts,2rbs,3ast
- Raymond-84 Top Performers: Jimmy Ralph-33pts,8ast,3stl/Tyson McIntyre-18pts,17rbs,4stl
- Kelowna-88 Top Performers: Braxton Bunce- 21pts,15rbs/ Charlie Lewthwaite-21pts,3rbs
- Holy Cross-77 Top Performers: Michael Farion- 35pts,2rbs,3ast,3stl
- Vancouver College- 82 Top Performers: Vince Tolentino-24pts,2stl/Reiner Theil-17pts,7rbs,5ast,4st;
- Kelvin-78 Top Performers: Randall Viray-17pts,6rbs/Stephen Jones-12pts,13rbs
- Bishop Grandin-73 Top Performers: John Hegwood-27pts,9rbs,4ast,5stl/Eddie Asamoah-12pts,12rbs
- Holy Cross-84 Top Performers: Michael Farion-34pts,4rbs,6ast,4stl
- Burnaby South-81 Top Performers: Nick Irvine-22pts,20rbs/Ater Degal-17pts,5rbs,5ast,6stl
- Raymond- 66 Top Performers- Jimmy Ralph-24pts,2rbs,2ast,4stl/Tyson McIntyre-19pts,13rbs,3stl
- R.C Palmer-69
- Bishop Grandin
- Holy Cross
- Vancouver College
- R.C Palmer-98
- Burnaby South-81 “Manroop…that kid has some big cahunas, he’s got ice in his veins”- Coach Greg Matic