Island high school men’s basketball teams ready for BC championship madness

A familiar family shows up as Island teams head out for March Madness, the style of the BC High School Men’s Basketball Championships that begin today at the Langley Events Center.

A familiar family shows up as Island teams head out for March Madness, the style of the BC High School Men’s Basketball Championships that begin today at the Langley Events Center.

Milan Pasquale is only a 10th grader and already a first-team Islander for Brentwood College, which is ranked No. 3 in the province for the 2A tournament. Pasquale is the son of former University of Victoria Vikes goaltender Vito Pasquale and nephew of the legendary late two-time Olympian and five-time UVic National Champion Eli Pasquale.

With the Lambrick Park Lions ranked No. 2 and on the same side of the table, it looks like Brentwood College and Lambrick Park are headed for a BC semi-final showdown after the Lions beat Brentwood in the AFC final. island two weeks ago.

“It’s a fantastic rivalry, with both teams operating at a high level and ready to do Island pride,” said Brentwood College coach Blake Gage.

But first you need to go to the last steps. Brentwood College starts today against 14th Hugh Boyd from Richmond and Lambrick Park against 15th South Okanagan.

“It all comes down to the day in the knockout tournaments,” Gage said.

“You can’t be too high or too low. You need to stay focused and in the moment.

Both teams have enjoyed success in the past with veteran Lambrick Park coach Ed Somers leading the Lions to six provincial titles and Gage coaching Brentwood College to the title in 2018 and third place in 2020.

This season’s editions feature a larger Lions team, led by six-foot-eight forward Alex Moch, and a smaller but fast-paced Brentwood College team, led by 11th-year guard Pasquale. Dylan Gage and also guard Nathan Onasanya.

Meanwhile, the second-seeded Island 4A and No. 12 provincial Claremont Spartans have a tough opening-game assignment by being drawn against the Burnaby South Rebels, who were No. 1 all the season before an upset semi-final loss to North Valley due to a key injury. Despite the Rebels dropping to fifth due to these issues, many pundits still consider Burnaby South the best team in the province.

“We are excited and looking forward to the challenge,” Claremont coach Brandon Dunlop said.

“If we play to our ability, we can beat anybody. We don’t care what anybody says. The only guys who have to believe we can do it are the guys in our bedroom.

And they certainly believe it after knocking out No. 2 Centennial and No. 3 Vancouver College this season. Izzy Helman, one of the best players in the province, gives Burnaby South even more to think about.

The Oak Bays, who beat the Spartans in a highly competitive Island Final, are the top seeds on the island and open today at No. 10 against No. 7 Semiahmoo. The Bays are led by Island Tournament MVP Griffin Arnatt, who can play all-court.

“I see progress within our group every time we step on the floor,” Oak Bay coach Chris Franklin said.

“This time of year, especially in single-game knockout situations, the message to players is that it’s always the next game that matters the most. We just have to play our game and be calm and steady. .

Island champion Mark Isfeld Ice of Courtenay, runner-up St. Michaels University School Blue Jags and Island No. 3 Timberline Wolves of Campbell River take over the region in the 3A Provincial Tournament at the LEC.

Island champions Glenlyon-Norfolk Gryphons are ranked top four in 1A and serious LEC contenders. Brookes Westshore and Nanaimo Christian also represent the island.

“What’s really great is that we can do big events again and that’s exciting, considering where we were just five weeks ago,” Franklin said.

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