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Heritage Woods Kodiaks dig out bronze at 2023 Jr. Boys' basketball provincials

The Port Moody school was ranked 12th to start the 32-team tournament; senior and junior girls begin banner quests today (March 1).
Port Moody's Heritage Woods Secondary won bronze at the 2023 BC junior boys basketball provincial championships in Langley.

Heritage Woods Secondary (HWSS) salvaged its Cinderella run and walked away with a medal at the 2023 B.C. junior boys' basketball provincials.

The Kodiaks slipped on a tournament bronze around their necks, defeating Brookswood Secondary 64-58 on Tuesday night (Feb. 28) in Langley and finish with a record of 4-1.

The Port Moody school was seeded 12th to start the four-day event, making one of the biggest ranking jumps of the 32 competing teams behind champions St. Thomas More (11th to first) and Elgin Park (18th to eighth).

HWSS turned many heads at provincials by beating three single-seeded schools to win some hardware.

"I have had the pleasure of coaching this team for two years and it has been incredible," Kodiaks head coach Roj Johal told the Tri-City News.

"They have made Heritage Woods history by placing second in 2022 [Grade 9] provincials and third this year. They are the true definition of a team, and to quote one of the commentators, 'if you knock them down 100 times they will get up 101.'"

Ben Pearson recorded a game-high 24 points in the bronze medal match victory against the Bobcats.

Joseph Thompson, who bucketed 76 total points at the tourney, was named a first-team all-star.

Afu Bullock, the player of the game in Tuesday's third-place contest, was elected as a second-team all-star.

The Kodiaks game-by-game results were as follows:

  • 64-58 win over #7 Brookswood (bronze medal game)
  • 69-55 loss to #1 Tamanawis (semi-final)
  • 70-58 win over #4 Sullivan Heights (quarter-final)
  • 67-59 win over #5 Westsyde Secondary
  • 68-26 win over #21 Windsor Secondary

Meanwhile, Coquitlam's Centennial Secondary also won their last game of the 2022-23 campaign.

The Centaurs' junior boys' squad completed a 3-2 record and jumped from 23rd to 19th overall with a 52-46 win over Vancouver's Magee Secondary on Tuesday.

Centennial was relegated to the consolation side after losing their opening match:

  • 52-46 win over #16 Magee
  • 48-43 loss to #22 Semiahmoo
  • 45-42 win over #15 Vernon
  • 52-39 win over #26 Oak Bay
  • 71-40 loss to #10 Handsworth

Girls' provincials

The B.C. senior and junior girls basketball championships tip-off today (March 1).

The Riverside Rapids are the third-ranked team going into the AAAA tournament this week.

BC School Sports dropped the Port Coquitlam institution from the top spot, which they were seeded for the majority of the 2022-23 campaign, after losing to Burnaby Central in the Fraser North regional championship.

They're also one of three clubs looking to bring a blue banner back to the Tri-Cities after Terry Fox claimed the 2022 title.

Heritage Woods and Coquitlam's Dr. Charles Best Secondary are ranked 10th and 13th respectively in qualifying for the 16-team event in Langley.

Riverside will face the 14th-seeded R.E. Mountain Eagles today at 5:15 p.m., HWSS plays seventh-seeded Okanagan Mission (Kelowna) at 7 p.m. and the Blue Devils tip-off at 12 p.m. against number-four Yale Secondary (Abbotsford).

The junior girls' tourney includes two Tri-Cities schools that'll be playing at the same time as the seniors.

Heritage Woods (#15) and Riverside (#20) will each play a qualification game to determine their bracket for the 24-team event

The Kodiaks will tip-off against #18 South Delta Secondary at 12 p.m. today, with the winner to face #2 Yale Secondary (Abbotsford) at 6:30 p.m. later tonight.

The Rapids are scheduled to battle #13 St. Michaels University School (Victoria) earlier today at 10:30 a.m. with the winner to play #4 Holy Cross (Surrey) at 5 p.m.