With his team going in as the third seed at the 2A Boys Basketball Provincial Championships in Langley, Brentwood College School head coach Blake Gage thought that, if everything fell into place, his team had a chance to improve on that ranking, and even to win the provincial title.
Unfortunately, they ran into the Lambrick Park Lions, the same team that beat them in the Island final, in the provincial semifinal.
Lambrick won the semifinal 85-72 to advance to the provincial final, while Brentwood went on to the third-place game, which they won.
“They beat us twice and we beat them once [this season],” Gage noted about the Lions. “They’re a great team and a tough matchup for us.”
The Lions held a marginal 44-41 lead at halftime before going on a 28-5 run in the third. Brentwood outscored Lambrick 23-16, but it wasn’t enough to close the gap.
“I thought at halftime we were in great shape. We were a bit unfortunate not to be ahead. But in the second half, defensively we could not deal with them.”
Dylan Gage led Brentwood with 21 points against Lambrick Park, while Cannon Fritz had 14 and Milan Pasquale added 10.
Brentwood bounced back to beat West Point Grey Academy 64-50 for third.
“While we were disappointed not to be in the final game, I was pleased with the way the guys played in the third-place game,” coach Gage said. “They battled super hard and came away with the win and some hardware, which is great.”
Brentwood trailed 18-16 after the first quarter, but outscored West Point Grey in the last three quarters. Dylan Gage finished with 25 points, nine rebounds, three steals and one block; Pasquale added 13 points, five rebounds and four steals; and Fritz had 12 points and five rebounds. Nathan Onasanya also recorded five steals.
“We didn’t play great, but we worked hard, guarded hard, and the things that we’ve preached all year came out there,” Blake Gage said. “We won despite not having our best offensive performance.”
Brentwood also placed third at the last provincial tournament in 2020. The school won the tournament in 2017 and 2018, then finished 12th in 2019.
Brentwood opened the tournament with a 90-49 win over Hugh Boyd Secondary, with 23 points from Dylan Gage, 15 from Jayden Lust, and 10 from Santiago Fitznar. They won their second-round game 72-48 over Pacific Academy, led by 17 points from Fritz, 15 from Gage and 10 from Erding Fitznar.
Dylan Gage was named to the First All-Star Team and Fritz was picked to the Second Team, while Brentwood was selected as the tournament’s Most Sportsmanlike Team.
The team will lose Fritz, Erding Fitznar, Onasanya, Liam Floyd, Sajeev Saravanan, Niko Bossi and Philip Akindipe, but a strong group of players is coming back, led by Gage, Lust and Pasquale, along with Avik Bakshi, Tommy MacDonald and Jagre Knight.
“We’re going to miss our Grade 12s a great deal, but we’re excited about the guys coming back.”