Second at Islands, DCS edged for provincial berth

Duncan Christian takes Maaqtusiis to the limit in challenge

The DCS Chargers celebrate after finishing second at Islands. (Submitted)

The Duncan Christian School Chargers played to a second-place finish at the single-A boys basketball Island championships last weekend, but won’t be advancing to provincials after a heartbreaking loss to Maaqtusiis in a challenge game on Tuesday.

Third-place Maaqtusiis earned the right to challenge DCS for the provincial berth because the teams didn’t meet at the Island tournament. Maaqtusiis travelled to Duncan from Ahousat for the game, and made the trek worth their time by defeating DCS 62-59.

The Chargers led 20-11 after one quarter, and the game was tied 26-26 at halftime and 46-46 after three quarters, going right down to the wire to decide. Jordan Wilson poured in 23 points for Duncan Christian, including five three-pointers, and Jameson Hengstler added 16.

“Well, our last game of the season couldn’t have been more exciting,” DCS head coach Jim Brandsma commented. “The game-winner was going to provincials and we were confident. We played our game plan quite well and I was very proud of the guys for their effort. Our opponent Maaqtusiis were relentless in the effort to take away passes, run and gun, and work hard. That has been a trademark of this team for years and they do it well. I would have loved to go to provincials with these boys but we fell just short.”

The Chargers opened the Island championships in Nanaimo with a dominant 85-41 win over Gaglardi Academy last Thursday. Hengstler was named Player of the Game for a 23-point, seven rebound outing, while Nathan Powell had 19 points and four assists, and Cam Stevens added 16 points. On Friday, the Chargers beat Nanaimo Christian behind 24 points from Wilson and 10 from Logan Jacobsen.

The tournament ended with a 97-66 loss to Glenlyon Norfolk in the final. Wilson led the Chargers with 16 points, Powell had 11 points and four assists, Elias Floucault had six points, 12 rebounds and four assists, and Stevens was named Player of the Game.

“We had our hands full, and the boys played the first half brilliantly,” Brandsma said of the final. “We managed to keep their three key players under control and were only down by one at half. However that is when the wheels fell off; GNS came out with a renewed aggressiveness and got out to a quick 10-point lead and with a few fouls on our part we couldn’t recover. We played a full team effort in the fourth and worked hard to the end. Sure I wanted to win, but playing hard to the end is what I am most proud of.”

Nathan Powell and Jordan Wilson were named Island tournament all-stars.

Although the season ended earlier than the team would have liked, Brandsma isn’t disappointed with the season, although he feels bad for Grade 12s Wilson, Jacobsen and Mickey Johnnie, who wanted to end their careers with a trip to provincials.

“It has been an honour getting to know them over the last couple years and I wish I could have done more,” the coach said. “We will miss Jordan’s ability to go off from three-point range, Logan’s tenacity to take the ball to the hoop and Mickey’s ability to pack away so much food.”

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