Rebels no match for angry Gators squad
Playing with an angry attitude, the Walnut Grove Gators blew out the Burnaby South Rebels to move on to the final four.
The Gators held a slim 20-18 lead after one quarter in Thursday's quarter-final game at the B.C. AAA boys basketball championships at the Langley Events Centre.
But Walnut Grove exploded in the second quarter, out-scoring the Rebels 26-8 in the 10 minutes and never looking back, crushing Burnaby South 93-51.
"Today was a pissed off win," said Gators coach George Bergen.
"Yesterday, we had to dig deep into the reserves. Tonight, we wanted to play our game: tran
Bergen was referring to the Gators' 74-62 win over the Sir Winston Churchill Bulldogs in the round of 16 game.
"We ran the ball a lot better," said Gators forward Josh Mayorga, who was named player of the game after posting a game-high 23 points and 15 rebounds.
"We played our game and we dominated the glass, which is key."
Walnut Grove out-rebounded the Rebels 67-31, including 32 offensive boards compared to Burnaby South's 22 defensive rebounds.
"We need to play angry," Mayorga added. "Angry gets big wins."
Walnut Grove led from start to finish against the Lower Mainland's second seed.
But after the Rebels went on a mini-run to close the first quarter deficit to two points, Walnut Grove altered their defensive game plan and seized control, dominating in every category.
The Gators scored 22 points off turnovers and had 44 points in the paint. By comparison, Burnaby South had nine points off turnovers and just eight in the paint.
Jadon Cohee finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and four assists, plus a blocked shot. And Brad Hoffman and David Wolde-Mariam both came off the bench to provide a spark. Hoffman had 18 points, including three three-pointers, while Wolde-Mariam had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds in just 13:21 of action.
Paul Getz had six points, 11 rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals.
The Rebels were led by Martin Bogajev's 15 points while Gino Pagbilao had 11.
Walnut Grove's victory sets up a semifinal showdown with the St. George's Saints on Friday (March 15) at 6 p.m.
The teams played once during the season with the Gators winning 71-55 during a December exhibition game.
The Saints are the Lower Mainland's third seed.
The other semifinal matches the White Rock Christian Warriors against the Kitsilano Blue Demons.
The Blue Demons are the Lower Mainland's top seed while the Warriors were second in the Fraser Valley.