SEEDING SPOTS UP FOR GRABS IN NORTH LEAGUE
For those still standing, the next few weeks will define their high school season.
The Fraser Valley North League's senior boys basketball playoffs begins its seeding round tonight (Friday) in a series of games at both Terry Fox and Pitt Meadows gymnasiums.
A handful of challengers emerged from basketball's version of the TV show Chopped on Tuesday to advance to the quarterfinals.
The Pinetree Timberwolves stopped Riverside 70-55, Centennial knocked out Dr. Charles Best 74-66, and North Surrey eliminated Port Moody in a 56-54 squeaker.
On Wednesday the Gleneagle Talons bested North Surrey 56-46, the Heritage Woods Kodiaks clipped Fraser Heights 65-50, Pitt Meadows doubled Centennial 66-33, and the Terry Fox Ravens bested Pinetree 68-53.
Now, onto the main course. "It's going to be a real war zone, as you'd expect," said Gleneagle coach Tony Scott, in reference to his game tonight against rival Terry Fox.
Their semifinal matchup will pit two skilled rosters battling for a spot in Saturday's 7: 45 p.m. North final at Pitt Meadows.
"We have to defend and we have to score, and beyond that they out-size us at a number of positions," noted Fox coach Steve Hanson.
Against Pinetree, the Fox offence was led by a trio of shooters, as Nic Hughes, Jomari Reyes and Mike West each contributed 14 points. The T-wolves weren't able to convert a strong effort in the must-win game to get past Fox.
"It's all about playing four quarters and we only played two," remarked Pinetree coach Doug Bell. "Fox got out to a 20-point lead and we kind of clawed back a bit to within eight but that's as close as we could get."
Getting into the semifinal is a good step, Hanson said of the Ravens. Moving into the final is the next challenge and an important Fraser Valley tournament primer. But it won't be easy.
"I saw Gleneagle's (quarterfinal) game and they came out energized against North Surrey."
The Talons entered the playoffs after a successful run at a Calgary tournament last week, where they bested Lethbridge Collegiate in the final. That bump has so far served them well, said Scott.
"It was a different opponent, a very different style of game - very aggressive, hard-nosed and physical," he said of the Alberta tourney. "Against Fox, the first thing is we have to come out and compete. We had a high turnover rate when we played them in league so that's not going to get you far against [the Ravens]."
The semifinals go tonight at 7: 45 p.m., with Fox hosting Gleneagle, and Pitt hosting Heritage Woods. The final is slated for 7: 45 p.m. Saturday in Pitt Meadows.
The Fraser Valley tournament starts Feb. 28 in Surrey.