Last year, the Langley Christian Lightning did not even field a senior boys basketball team.
This year? The team qualified for the B.C. boys AA provincial basketball championships after a second-place showing at the Fraser Valley championships.
Head coach Jon Mayan said his team — which has just two Grade 12s on the roster — had no goals coming into the season.
“We have focused on the process and purposely stayed away from goal setting,” he explained. “Making sure it is each practice you are focused on and not getting too far ahead of ourselves.”
The Lightning lost 73-62 to Pacific Academy in the Fraser Valley final on Saturday (Feb. 24) night at Trinity Western University.
“Both teams made some runs in the third quarter but in the fourth, they hit some shots and we didn’t,” Mayan explained about the gold-medal game.
But coming top two is a great accomplishment, especially considering the Lightning were the third seed out of the East Division.
In their playoff opener, with the loser eliminated, the Lightning beat Surrey Christian 112-55. They then knocked off the Delview Raiders — an honourable mention in the provincial top 10 rankings — 75-61 in the quarter-finals.
That was followed by another upset, this time over the East Division’s top team, the Abbotsford Christian Knights, 67-60, in the semifinals.
“I think we have peaked at the right time,” Mayan said, adding that they purposefully scheduled themselves some tough opponents.
“So this young team learned what it takes to compete at this level. We (wanted to be) battle tested.”
The Lightning now await their seeding for next week’s provincial championships, which run March 7 to 10 at the Langley Events Centre.
Langley Christian’s Peyton Grim and Asher Mayan were named to the Fraser Valley all-star team.
And Langley Fundamental Titans’ Eric Aujla was a second team selection
The Titans won their opening round Fraser Valley game 63-51 over Burnsview but lost 70-65 to Southridge and 63-37 to Archbishop Carney.