Terry Fox Ravens get ready for provincials
Defending champions the Terry Fox Ravens won’t be putting too much pressure on themselves come Tuesday (Mar.12) when they meet North Peace Secondary on opening day of the B.C. senior boys AAA basketball tournament.
It’s been a roller coaster season for the boys from Port Coquitlam: The team recorded eight losses in a row in December before rebounding to first place in the Fraser Valley North standings by mid-January. And now, the provincial championships await them. Ravens’ coach Brad Petersen is taking the tournament one game at a time.
“We are pleased that we are in the tournament,” he told The Tri-City News on Monday. “We knew that it was going to be a challenge to make it.”
The Ravens secured a berth at this year’s provincials on Thursday (Feb. 28) after besting Abbotsford secondary 82-75 at the Fraser Valley championships held at the Langley Events Centre. That win was followed up by a sobering 85-69 loss to Sardis secondary on Friday.
“We had a strong start,” said Petersen. “Sardis is a team that doesn’t give up. It was a close game at the half. We had no answer for their big guy.”
Petersen is referring to the Sardis Falcons’ 6’7” forward Hayden Lejeune, saying “he’s a tough load to handle around the basket.”
Thanks to the efforts of Grade 10 player Mike West, the team managed to avoid avert a blowout.
Saturday afternoon saw the Ravens meet their “cross-town” rival, the Pitt Meadows Marauders, in the seventh and eight place contest. And even with a guaranteed playoff berth in their back pocket, the Ravens were ready to claw their way to a win to position themselves for a higher seed in the provincials.
It proved to be a well-matched game with a lot of lead changes. Ravens’ captain Trevor Casey, the team’s main offensive weapon, made his coaches a little nervous early in the game when he found himself in foul trouble.
The tight game continued into the fourth quarter. Then, with the final minutes winding down, Ravens’ player Nic Hughes attempted a three-pointer.
“He was confident, took the shot and it went in,” said Petersen. “To get a lead late in the game, we were excited, but we knew we had to stop them in our end.”
A couple of forced fouls by Pitt Meadows and two good free throws put the Ravens up by three points with under 20 seconds left in the game. In one last rush in the Ravens’ end, Pitt Meadows got a three-point shot off that hit the back of the rim and bounced off, sealing the Ravens’ 57-60 victory.
The intel gathering has already begun with the Ravens’ coaches trying to get the scoop on their first round rivals, Fort St. John’s North Peace Secondary, from their contacts in the B.C. high school basketball network.