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Bulldogs bounce Hyacks, steal second place

The Byrne Creek Bulldogs earned a first-round playoff bye following a 67-53 win over the New Westminster Hyacks at Pearson Gym Wednesday.

The Byrne Creek Bulldogs earned a first-round playoff bye following a 67-53 win over the New Westminster Hyacks at Pearson Gym Wednesday.

The Bulldogs put together four sound periods, including a pivotal 17-2 second quarter that proved the difference in the game.

New Westminster played its best in the opening 10 minutes, leading 22-15 after the first quarter. But the second quarter was a complete turnaround.

Byrne Creek spread out its scoring and shut out the Hyacks for nearly the entire period.

Michael Heer managed the only bucket of the period for the home Hyacks with just 34 seconds remaining in the first half.

"We played so well in the first quarter, maybe we thought we could take the second quarter off," joked Hyacks coach John Doughty.

But second place in the BurWest is no joke with No. 1-ranked Burnaby South favoured to win the district banner.

"It's always a stretch in our conference," said Byrne Creek head coach Wayne Best, who outlined his strategy for success is "play hard, execute and stay with it. That's how we've improved over the last little while."

Grade 11 wing Kennedy George led all scorers with 21 points, including 11 in the opening quarter for Byrne Creek.

Junior forward David Majstorovic chipped in with 12 points for the Bulldogs.

Masood Wali had a team-high 18 points, including four three-pointers for the Hyacks. Hasreet Sidhu and Jordan Zeer also hit for double figures.

Last weekend, the Bulldogs scored their first tournament win, avenging a 30-plus point defeat to Fleetwood Park last month, with a 78-50 victory over the Fraser Valley team at the Sa-Hali tournament final in Kamloops.

Senior district playdowns will be hosted at New Westminster Secondary on Feb. 15.

Winners advance against South and Byrne Creek in the semifinals hosted at South on Feb. 16.

The championship final will take place the following Friday.

In the prior junior boys' game at Pearson, Byrne Creek upset the first-place Hyack juniors 60-58 on a last-second bucket by Wilson Anteros.

"It's a big deal," said Anteros, who led the Bulldogs with 18 points. "The coach said it was one of the biggest games we would be playing."

Trailing 58-53 in the final minute of play, the 'Dogs scratched to within a point and then Anteros stole a pass before getting the ball back and banking a close-in shot off the glass with a fade-away jumper with 2.5 seconds left on the clock.

The loss did not sit well with the New Westminster coach.

"I guarantee no team will ever beat us twice," said Hyack coach Dwight Stephen.

Manvir Gandham led all scorers with 22 points.

Junior boys' playoffs will be hosted at Alpha Secondary Feb. 14, 15 and 17.

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