For the Heritage Woods Kodiaks, third spot was the reward for an interesting charge through the Bill Kushnir Memorial basketball tournament last week in Delta.
The unranked Kodiaks crossed paths with a couple of key Fraser Valley competitors, including the top-ranked Yale Lions in the semifinal.
Heritage Woods had trouble containing the deep Lions lineup, which racked up an 86-52 victory en route to the tourney title.
Four Yale players hit double digits scoring-wise, as they emerged with a firm 25-6 lead after one quarter.
"Against Yale, we looked a little shellshocked in the first quarter as we hadn't seen defensive intensity to that degree all season," remarked Kodiaks coach Greg Schellenberg in an e-mail. "But we made some adjustments at the break, settled our nerves, and played real determined basketball the rest of the way. Unfortunately, we just didn't match up with Yale's size and athleticism."
Dakota Johnston was the top shooter for the Kodiaks with 17 points.
Shaking off that result, the Port Moody squad took third place with a hard fought 6258 triumph over Single-A No. 4 St. Patrick's.
Despite missing starters Justin Chohan and Tamam Gasmalla, Heritage Woods played well inside the zone and mainained an advantage most of the way.
"St. Pat's sat in a zone the entire game, but Ryan Salberg and Damian Yeo dominated with their post-to-post action inside the zone," Schellenberg noted.
"We're a small team, so we need to be constantly looking to push the tempo offensively," said Schellenberg. "Sometimes we get caught allowing other teams to dictate the tempo to our games, but for us to be successful we need to be the ones setting the tempo."
They opened the tourney by sliding past honourable mention Delta 76-71.
Johnston was named to the Kushnir Memorial all-star team.
"Dakota has been a real key for us this year, both offensively and defensively, and it's nice to see that he finally had some recognition," added the coach. "He shot the ball well from outside all weekend, and was key for us anytime we needed to get to the rim."