The Bulkley Valley Christian School’s senior boys’ basketball team finished provincials in Langley with the best results they’ve had in years.
The Royals went 3-1 over the weekend to capture 9th place against 16 teams in the 1A tier.
“We performed above expectations,” said head coach Chris Steenhof. “Our guys came ready to play and it was a great end to the season for them.”
Heading into the tournament, the Royals were ranked 12th.
First up, they were matched up against the Kelowna Christian School (who would go on to win provincials this year).
But the team did not start the tournament the way they had hoped.
According to Steenhof, the team managed to stay in the game until the third quarter when they got into foul trouble. Kelowna managed to pull away in the fourth quarter and defeated the Royals 63-40.
“That was disheartening for the boys to lose their first game,” said Steenhof. “After you lose the first game the best you can do is 9th. But we were resilient and came back in our other three games and played very well.”
Despite their first game loss, the team remained focused on the upcoming games and improved their on-court play.
In the next three games, the team came out strong, establishing substantial leads in the first quarter.
“Just by using full-court pressure defence and our guys worked really hard and we got lots of points off turnovers,” added Steenhof.
In the second game versus Fernie, senior Caleb Groot stepped up his game, scoring seven three-pointers in one half to help lift the team to a 72-37 win.
“He was definitely our best three-point shooter,” said Steenhof.
Steenhof noted the Royals were able to adapt well to the teams they played.
In the third game, they tipped off against Osoyoos, the eighth-ranked team.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game. We just knew we had to come out strong,” said Steenhof.
But they managed to hold on to the lead, winning by a close score of 83-80.
In the final game versus Duncan Christian, the Royals won 67-45.
“This is one of our better finishes in the school’s history,” said Steenhof.
“I think we represented our zone quite well. They performed above expectations.”
Ty Goodson was named to the second all-star team for the tournament.
“He had a very good tournament,” said Steenhof.
“His defence was really good and he just finished well at the basket.”
But Goodson was quick to point out that their success was a team effort.
“I think we played really well as a team, probably the best this year,” said Goodson.
But next year, the team will lose some of its top players because seniors Groot, Aaron Steenhof, Daniel Ewald and Daniel Ripmeester are graduating at the end of this year.