For the Bulkley Valley Christian School Senior Boys basketball team, their recent sixth place finish at the “A” Boys provincial championships was a fitting end to a successful season. Despite going into the tournament ranked 12th overall, the Royals finished with a 3-1 record, beating some of the top teams in the province.
The Royals earned a spot at the provincials after an exciting victory at the zone championships against a resilient team from Queen Charlotte Secondary. The tournament involved 16 teams from around the province and was held at Trinity Western University in Langley.
In their first game, the Royals came out slow, unable to match the speed and intensity of their opponents, West Point Grey Academy. Despite the disappointing loss, the Royals regrouped and won a close battle, 72-58 against their second round opponents, Sparwood Secondary. Jared Lester and Jesse Boonstra scored several key baskets late in the game to seal the victory.
In their third game, the Royals faced Duncan Christian, the top team from Vancouver Island. Led by the aggressive post play of David Bakker and outside shooting of Eric DeJong, the Royals were able to overcome a half time deficit to win 72-61.
The final game of the tournament was against St. Jean Brebeuf, one of the top teams in the Fraser Valley. Led by the fine defensive play of Nate Swanson, the Royals won handily, 67-44.
Justin Steenhof was named to the second Allstar team while Josh Horlings was an honourable mention.
According to the Royals coach, Chris Steenhof, the tournament was successful because of the level of basketball the Royals were able to play. “After that initial game, we played our best basketball of the year,” said Steenhof. “None of our players gave up and we raised the level of our game as a team.”
With many graduating players on the roster, the Royals will be challenged to repeat their performance next year but for the graduating players, the experience was a positive one.
“It was nice for our graduating players who have worked hard over their high school career to improve their individual skills and their team game,” Steenhof said.