The best way to describe the Langley Christian Lightning’s experience last week is to say it was a learning experience.
The Lightning finished second in the Fraser Valley to earn a spot in the 16-team field at the BC 2A boys provincial basketball championships, which were held March 7 to 10 at the Langley Events Centre.
Langley Christian was seeded 11th but wound up placing 14th after going 1-3.
But that’s OK with head coach Jon Mayan.
“We learned what it takes to compete at that level,” he explained. “I think one of the biggest takeaways was how to approach that type of tournament where all the teams are there to do the same thing.
“And for a young squad like us, that was invaluable. It is really going to help us prepare for next year.”
The Lightning have just two Grade 12 players on the roster and will return four of their starting five next season.
Langley Christian opened with a 78-60 loss to the No. 6 Britannia Bruins.
Mayan said his team’s nerves were evident in that first game and that is something they will need to work on.
“Sure the stakes are higher but you just (need to) execute things the same way,” he said. “Basketball is a game of runs, you are never out of it, you just have to keep your composure.”
Following the first loss, Langley Christian fell 72-70 to Sa-Hali in their next game before rebounding to defeat Southridge 71-67. They closed with a 88-64 loss to R.C. Palmer.
“Our goal is to get back (to provincials),” Mayan said, adding he brought up some Grade 10 players so they could experience the atmosphere in anticipation of a return trip to the LEC next March.
“It is hard to win with a young team if they haven’t been through these types of experiences.”