The red-hot Burnaby South Rebels will square off against the upstart New Westminster Hyacks in the senior boys basketball league final tonight (Thursday).
The winner will carry the higher seed heading into next week’s Fraser North regional playdowns, which start Feb. 20 in Coquitlam.
The 4-A division Rebels, who finished the Burnaby-New West regular season a perfect 8-0, advanced to the final on the strength of a lopsided 109-44 win over the Burnaby Mountain Lions.
South led 61-20 at halftime.
In tonight's (Thursday) third-place game, Byrne Creek, a 3-A school, takes on Burnaby Mountain.
The run-up to the league playoffs saw Burnaby South scoop up more momentum with a successful trip to the Western Canada Invitational tournament in Kelowna,
The provincially No. 1-ranked Rebels defeated No. 3 Kelowna in the final 82-58, expanding on a solid 34-22 advantage at halftime.
They also bettered Edmonton's Harry Ainlay 84-62, thanks to a well-rounded attack led by Sasha Vujisic, with 18 points, and player of the game Justin Sunga's 17. Contributing 14 points was Karan Aujla, while Emir Krupic netted 13 points.
They opened the tourney with a 77-55 triumph over Calgary All-Saints.
Sunga was named the tourney MVP, with Aujla and Vujisic placed on the first all-star squad. Jareb Pineda was selected to the second all-star team, while Matthew Pineda was named the Most Inspirational Player.
The 4-A action shifts to Centennial on Feb. 20 for the first day of play in the Fraser North playdowns. The Lions, Hyacks and Rebels will all compete with five Coquitlam district teams for three positions to the 4-A provincial basketball championships. The playdowns will come to Burnaby South on Feb. 21, with games starting at 3 p.m., and the semifinals slated for 6:30 and 8:15 p.m. The third-place game and final for the Fraser North will inexplicably head to the Langley Events Centre on Feb. 23, with tip-offs at 5 and 8 p.m. to decide the teams who'll advance to next month's B.C.s.
For the Byrne Creek Bulldogs and Alpha Aztecs, the 3-A regional playdowns hit the hardwood next week, with the Aztecs needing to win a play-in game against Maple Ridge league's No. 5-placed team (either Thomas Haney or Archbishop Carney) on Feb. 18 in Maple Ridge. Byrne Creek, on the strength of having the better Burnaby-New West record, starts the tourney on Feb. 21.