Terry Fox Ravens lead Tri-City charge at basketball provincials

The broad grins and fist-twirling whoops on the Terry Fox Ravens bench in the waning moments of their 119-45 win over the Mt. Baker Wild in their opening game Wednesday at the BC High School senior boys AAAA basketball championships may not have been the most business-like. 

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But it’s hard not to get excited when you’ve dictated a game and been rewarded so resoundingly, said Ravens’ head coach Brad Petersen after his charges put an early stamp on their quest to affirm the No. 1 status they held in the province for the final three weeks of the regular season.

Petersen said with so little known about the Wild, who travelled to the Langley Events Centre from Cranbrook, the Ravens had to focus on a business-like execution of playing their own game and not falling into a trap of unpolished basketball.

“It allows you to focus just on the things you do and the things you’ve been working on all season,” he said.

Sure enough, the Ravens got down to business early, amassing a 37-12 lead by the end of the first quarter and ballooning that to 63-21 at halftime.

Petersen said he liked the energy his team showed.

“I really liked our mentality that no matter who was in front of us, we were going to play our basketball,” he said.

Cameron Slaymaker led the assault on Mt. Baker’s basket with 24 points, while Jacob Mand pitched in 21. In fact, every Ravens’ player showed in the stats line by the end of the game, as the bench got plenty of playing time with the score well in hand.

Terry Fox made 50% of its field goals, 46% of its three-pointers and a remarkable 75% of its free throws.

The Ravens were equally dominating on the boards, pulling down 55 rebounds, split almost evenly between the offensive and defensive ends of the court.

The success was infectious. By the end of the game players watching from bench were standing and cheering on plays by their teammates.

Petersen said it was important they not let up,.

“Every minute is important on this court,” he said. “We’ve got to continue doing that the rest of the way.”

The Ravens will face Oak Bay in Thursday’s first quarter-final at 3 p.m. at the LEC.

The other two representatives from Fraser Valley North also advanced to Thursday’s quarter-final round. Heritage Woods will face the Kelowna Owls at 4:45 p.m. after the 15th-seeded Kodiaks upset the Kitsilano Blue Demons, who were ranked second in the tournament.

And in another upset, the 13th-seeded Centennial Centaurs bounced Vancouver College 83-82 in an overtime thriller.

The Centaurs will play the defending champions, Burnaby South Rebels, in Thursday’s last quarter-final at 8:15 p.m.

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