Lightning miss out on podium

Langley Christian’s Jason Wright sinks a free throw during his team’s game on Friday against the Unity Christian Flames. - Gary Ahuja/Langley Times
Langley Christian’s Jason Wright sinks a free throw during his team’s game on Friday against the Unity Christian Flames.
— image credit: Gary Ahuja/Langley Times

For the first time in five years, the Langley Christian Lightning failed to medal at the provincial championships.

The Lightning, seeded third for the 16-team B.C. high school Single A basketball championships held at the Langley Events Centre over the weekend, placed seventh after going 2-2.

“You are always disappointed when you come up short and lose,” said coach Matt van Muyen. “All year we talked about success being tied to our commitment and work ethic.

“When the final horn blows, whether we won or lost, can we say that we did everything we could have to win. I am proud of our team because we worked extremely hard right to the final horn; we worked hard for each other and that makes a coach proud.”

Part of the reason the team did not play for a medal was the fact they were struggling with injuries this season, missing two key cogs: Alvin Los, who is six-foot-seven, and Joel Keingeltink, who is six-foot-four.

Other guys did step up in their absence, but having that pair would likely have affected the team’s outcome.

The Lightning alternated wins and losses at the four-day tournament, opening with an impressive 95-56 win over the Fort Nelson Huskies, but losing in the quarter-finals, 72-54 to the Immaculata Mustangs.

Van Muyen said they were disappointed about their effort in that game, but he was pleased his team bounced back in their next game to knock off the Unity Christian Flames 65-51 before losing the fifth place game, 78-60 to the St. Ann’s Crusaders.

Langley Christian did earn some accolades.

The Lightning were named the tournament’s most sportsmanlike team.

Individually, Jason Wright was a second team all-star, while Matt Rook was an honourable mention.

Rook also won the tournament’s three-point shooting competition.

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