The Chilliwack secondary school senior boys basketball team got the top-four finish they were gunning for this weekend-just.
The Storm finished fourth at their 33rd Chilliwack Classic Invitational Basketball Tournament Saturday after falling to Sa-Hali secondary 88-61.
CSS kicked off the tournament with a pair of wins (67-43 over Chilliwack's Unity Christian and 84-76 against Val-leyview) but were outsized and outscored in the semifinal by a tough and experienced Elgin Park team, who went on to win the tournament in the final against Semiahmoo.
"This year we're a shooting team and we're trying to run a lot more than we've every run, and we just bogged down and couldn't get shots," CSS coach Joe Mauro said. "They were so much bigger. They pushed us around. They beat us up."
Despite his team's size deficit, which cost them this tournament, Mauro remains optimistic about the season.
"We've got kids that really want to play hard, and it's helping us big time right now," he said.
Two of those players are Brendan Janz and Steve Norrish, who were named first-team and second-team all-stars respectively.
Single-A Unity Christian, meanwhile, made the most of its games against the "big boys" to prepare for the upcoming season.
With Unity being the only single-A team at the tournament, coach Mike Campbell said he didn't expect to win any games, and the team's opening 67-43 loss to CSS looked to confirm his prediction.
In their second game against AAA Maple Ridge, however, his team surprised even him.
Down by 14 points with seven minutes to play, Unity turned the game around, closing on a 33-13 run to win the game 63-60.
Grade 10 Alex Leiper supplied a dramatic three pointer at the buzzer for the win.
"I have coached in over 600 games, and that was one of the craziest games I have ever coached in," said Campbell.
Unity then dispatched Kwantlen Park, a school 10 times its size, 70-33 in the consolation final.
Clay Driesen scored 23 points, and Ryan Billsten broke a school record with 13 blocked shots.
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