UPDATED: Lightning strikes at Valleys
After a back-and-forth first half, the Langley Christian Lightning turned up the defensive pressure to douse the Unity Christian Flames.
The Lightning captured the Fraser Valley Single A senior boys basketball title with a 58-46 win on Saturday night at Trinity Western University.
“We have a pretty good healthy rivalry and it lived up to its billing,” said Lightning coach Matt Van Muyen.
“It was a battle out there.”
“We did a good job on defence; I think that is where we won the game,” he added.
“We worked extremely hard and were able to pull it out in the end.”
The Lightning were led by Jason Wright, the tournament’s most valuable player, and all-star Joel Kleingeltink.
Wright was instrumental in breaking down the Flames full-court pressure, continuously dribbling or passing out of the Unity Christian double teams and traps as he brought the ball up the court.
Despite having just three Grade 12s on the roster, winning the Fraser Valley banner was a realistic goal.
“We are a good group,” Van Muyen said.
“They are all very committed.”
He described the Grade 11s as very athletic and competitive.
The Lightning are seeded fourth in the 16-team provincial championships, which run Mar. 7-10 at Trinity Western University.
They open the tournament with a game against No. 13 Sparwood on Wednesday (March 7) at 5:30 p.m.
Langley Christian defeated Maple Ridge Christian 63-33 in the quarter-finals and Credo Christian 69-38 in the semifinals.
Langley Christian, who were fourth in the most recent provincial rankings, and Unity Christian both advance to the Single A provincial championships. They will also be joined by St. John Brebeuf, which won the third place game 63-50 over Credo Christian.
Credo defeated B.C. Christian 64-57 in their first game, lost to Langley Christian in the semis and then beat Southpointe Academy 65-55.