The big man came up big in the biggest game to date.
That was the story in the Terry Fox Ravens' 72-53 win over the Oak Bay Bays Wednesday, when Fox got 22 points from six-foot-seven centre Ryan Sclater in their opening contest at the B.C. Boys AAA Basketball championships in Langley.
The Ravens got the job done on the weight of a balanced attack and continual pressure - both of those assets helped Fox open up a 10-point lead at the half, and pull ahead by as much as 27 later in the contest.
"We were able to get fresh legs out there," said Fox cocoach Brad Petersen. "We played a lot of people, and that's been one of our main strengths all year. Keeping it fresh and getting a lot of bodies in there was definitely one of our keys."
Outside of Sclater's 22 points, Trevor Casey also dropped 16 in a game that saw the Ravens shoot 56 per cent from the field and 42 per cent from three-point land.
Getting that first win in unfamiliar territory should bode well for the PoCo crew, who took on the Pitt Meadows Marauders on Thursday evening after NOW deadlines.
"Having a quick start to a tournament, especially in a new building that we've never played in, was very key. It's definitely nerve racking, that first game, and getting the first win under our belts was huge for us," Petersen said. "As far as the nerves go, you have to do exactly what you've been doing all year. One of the things myself and co-coach [Steven Hanson] talked about was not to over coach. We just want to preach the things that we've been teaching the kids throughout the whole year and just stick with those principles."
Wednesday's loss not only punched their ticket through to a quarterfinal match with Pitt Meadows, but it also avenged a loss earlier in the season to Oak Bay by the same score.
Revenge had to be the order of the day Thursday as well, as Fox dropped both its games against the Marauders in league and playoff action, though the margin of defeat in those two games was only seven points combined.
"We need to definitely hit some shots, we need to pay really tough defensively and we have to rebound the ball. If we do that, we're going to be successful," Petersen said.
"[Pitt Meadows'] starting five is very, very strong. They can shoot the ball, they can play inside and they play tough defence. They're a very well oiled machine. We're going to have our best game."
The winner of the Fox/Pitt Meadows contest would have advanced to Friday's semifinal against the winner of Tamanawis and White Rock Christian.