Sports

March: Walnut Grove claims Triple-A basketball crown

Led by most valuable player Jadon Cohee (top photo, left), the Walnut Grove Gators became the first Langley high school to ever win the first Triple-A senior boys provincial basketball championship in the tournament’s 67-year history. Graduating seniors Paul Getz (top photo, right) and David Wolde-Mariam embraced following their victory over White Rock Christian on the Langley Events Centre court. - Gary Ahuja/Langley Times
Led by most valuable player Jadon Cohee (top photo, left), the Walnut Grove Gators became the first Langley high school to ever win the first Triple-A senior boys provincial basketball championship in the tournament’s 67-year history. Graduating seniors Paul Getz (top photo, right) and David Wolde-Mariam embraced following their victory over White Rock Christian on the Langley Events Centre court.
— image credit: Gary Ahuja/Langley Times
In the long history of the senior boys Triple-A basketball championships — which stretches back to 1946 — no Langley high school had ever laid claim to the crown. But that all changed on March 16.
The Walnut Grove Gators — who had come agonizingly close the previous year, losing by a single point in the championship game — completed the task the second time around, defeating the White Rock Christian Warriors 59-53 in the finals at the Langley Events Centre.
The Gators were led by Grade 11 sensation Jadon Cohee, who picked up the tournament’s most valuable player award.
The game was eerily similar to the year before when Walnut Grove let a nine-point late lead slip away as the Warriors stormed back to tie the game at 53 points with less than two minutes remaining.
With the game on the line, Cohee took charge, scoring on one of his patented spin moves to the hoop, laying the ball in off the backboard for the go-ahead points. On the ensuing possession, the Gators’ Sam Shin came up with a steal and was fouled, hitting one of his free throws for the three-point lead. The Warriors had one more chance to tie, but missed and the Gators hit their free throws down the stretch to win by six points.
The win capped off a dominant season for Walnut Grove as they lost just three games all season to B.C. competition, and two of those defeats came at the hands of White Rock Christian.
With the victory, coach George Bergen — the architect of the Walnut Grove basketball program since the school opened its doors in 1991 — joined some rare company as one of the very few men in the province to
win a Triple-A banner as both a coach and as a player.
Cohee would later sign his national letter of intent to join the Seattle University Redhawks basketball program for the 2014/15 season.
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