The Unity Christian senior boys basketball team will launch into the post season with some steam behind them after defeating the number-one single-A team in the province during their final tournament of the season last weekend.
The Flames handily defeated Regent Christian 67-25 in the first round of the tournament-the Big Bear at St. Jean Brebeuf in Abbotsford-but the second round saw them pitted against top-ranked St. Patrick's. "We had the best game we have played all season," said coach Mike Campbell. "They were stunned."
Unity's Jon Vugteveen hit six three-pointers in the second quarter, and Ryan Billsten and Kevin VanRyk did further damage from the paint in the second half toward an eventual 75-68 upset victory for the Flames.
About 200 orange-clad Unity fans were on hand Saturday as the Flames took on fifth-ranked West Point Grey in the final.
In what turned out to be a defensive battle, Unity trailed by three at the half, held the lead briefly at the beginning of the fourth quarter but eventually succumbed 55-51.
Unity Grade 11 player Clay Driesen led the Flames with seven steals and 17 points, and Grade 12s Ryan Billsten and Kevin VanRyk were voted tournament all stars.
The team, which was 8-0 in regular season play, starts its playoff run with the Fraser Valley Championships next week, and Campbell says his team is ready and gunning for the banner and a top-four seed at the BCs.
Unity hosts the boys single-A provincial championships at UFV's Abbotsford campus March 6 to 9.
Unity's senior girls team has also cracked the top-10 rankings this season. This could be the second time in four years that both teams represent the school and Chilliwack at the provincials.