After back-to-back provincial championships in 2017 and 2018, Brentwood College School wasn’t expected to return to the AA boys tournament this spring, but a late-season surge earned the team the Island championship and another trip to the big dance in Langley.
Brentwood went into the tournament as the eighth seed, and finished twelfth in the province.
“We did not play our best basketball at provincials,” head coach Blake Gage commented. “While we were not satisfied with the result, we recognize it was a young and inexperienced team, so just being there was great for our guys and our program.”
Brentwood opened the tournament on Wednesday with a close 59-54 loss to ninth-seeded Westsyde. Shaw Blaisdell led the way with 19 points and four steals, while Ian Grabher had 14 points and seven rebounds, and Juan Navarro added 13 points and a team-best 10 rebounds and three assists.
The next day, Brentwood beat 16th-seeded Sparwood 86-49. Navarro had 25 points, 16 rebounds and five steals; Grabher had 20 points, 12 boards and four assists; Blaisdell added 15 points, seven rebounds and five steals; Matthias Streblow posted 12 points; and Dylan Gage grabbed nine boards.
Friday saw Brentwood fall 84-66 to Elphinstone, who entered the tournament as fourth seeds. Grabher put up 28 points and 12 rebounds, and Blaisdell had 23 points and six boards.
Finally, Brentwood wrapped things up with a 75-66 loss to Seycove last Saturday.
The team will only lose two key players to graduation as Grabher and fellow starter Grant Dillard move on, and the experience from this year’s tournament will be useful to the returning players.
“Winning an island championship and finishing 12th in the province were excellent accomplishments for this team,” Gage said. “Hopefully the guys are hungry to get better and get back again next year.”