Unity Christian’s senior boys basketball team hit two three-pointers in the last five seconds of the Fraser Valley Championship final Saturday to snatch their first-ever title out from under B.C. Christian Academy.
Chilliwack’s lone single-A boys team entered the tournament ranked third in the province and handily defeated Agassiz 94-28 in the first round Wednesday.
They got past eighth-ranked St. Jean Brebeuf 71-56 Thursday to set up a showdown with seventh-ranked B.C. Christian Academy in the championship final Saturday.
Unity had split with the Port Coquitlam team in tournaments earlier in the year, and the game was a battle from the start that saw B.C. Christian Academy with a 30-28 lead at halftime.
Heading into the third, the Flames were down 41-40, but back-to-back BCCA threes buried Unity by eight with 1:25 minutes to go.
“Things then went perfectly,” Unity coach Mike Campbell said.
First, the Flames stole four quick transition baskets by mixing up four different presses.
Then—with seven seconds left in the game—BCCA turned over the ball on an expired shot clock.
With 3.3 seconds to go, Unity’s Kevin VanRyk (Grade 12) sank a game-tying three pointer, and BCCA gave up possession again after throwing the ball out of bounds.
“Thankfully we still had one timeout left and we were able to draw up a play to hit our other grade 12, Ryan Billsten for an open three pointer,” said Campbell. “Unbelievably, it fell and the crowd of 300 screaming Unity fans went nuts.”
Billsten was voted tournament MVP and VanRyk earned a tournament allstar.
Unity—who host the single-A provincial championships at UFV in Abbotsford March 6 to 9—begin their provincial run March 6 against 13th seed Mount Sentinel from Nelson.
A win would pit them against arch nemesis Immaculata, who killed Unity’s B.C. title hopes last year with a buzzer beater in the provincial quarter final.
Follow the Senior A Boys Basketball Provincial Championships at https://sites.google.com/site/singleaprovboysbball/home.