The Royals defeated GM Dawson from Haida Gwaii 76-45 to win the zone championship on Saturday.

Royals capture zone banner for fourth year in a row

The Bulkley Valley Christian School’s senior boys’ basketball team defeated GM Dawson 76-45 over the weekend.

The Bulkley Valley Christian School’s senior boys’ basketball team defeated GM Dawson 76-45 to capture the zone A banner for the fourth year in a row over the weekend.

“We played well tonight for sure. We kind of had a strategy in mind and the boys bought in,” said head coach Chris Steenhof.

The Royals entered the zone championships ranked first and met the Houston Christian School  in the first game.

After defeating Houston, the Royals moved on to a more challenging opponent, GM Dawson Secondary school from Haida Gwaii.

It was a high-energy match up between the two teams.

The Royals set the tone early with several fast-break layups from Aaron Steenhof and a three-pointer from shooting guard Caleb Groot that got the crowd roaring.

“We knew they had a couple real strong weapons and we just had a team defensive strategy that shut those two guys down,” said Steenhof.

The Royals got the rebounds and continued aggressively on offence to finish the first half with a commanding 38-22 lead.

In the last two quarters, the Thunder tried to claw their way back with several players netting three-pointers.

But their defence was still unable to shut down the Royals, who closed out the game strong.

They defeated the Thunder 76-45.

Aaron Steenhof led the team in scoring with 46 points.

“We kept it together. Our key to the game was just pushing the ball and fast-break it,” said the tournament MVP.

“I got to the basket a lot and found my teammates for some good shots and they hit them,” said Steenhof.

“I figured out where the defenders were and where my teammates were on the floor and kept pushing the ball.”

Caleb Groot said they did not allow the Thunder to get under their skin.

“I think we played a really solid game all around. We didn’t let them get under our skin and every time they got a basket, we went right back at it,” he said.

“We never stopped pushing.”

After an impressive win, the team will set their sights on provincials in Langley in May.

Coach Steenhof said they will try and get in a few more games and work on getting a decent ranking.

“A lot of teams haven’t seen our team, so they don’t know what we’re like,” he said.

“Our hope is to win our first game down there to get to the winning side of the tournament.”

This is their fourth appearance at provincials in as many years. Last year, they finished 12th.

“There’s some very good teams,” said Steenhof. “Winning probably isn’t our goal, but a top 10 finish would be phenomenal for us.”

Groot added they hope to tighten up on defence.

“I think defensive intensity is something that we have to work on a lot, but I think we’re right in there with the other teams at provincials,” he said.


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