Shawnigan Lake School’s unprecedented run to the Island junior boys basketball championships ended with a fourth-place result, just five points away from a berth at provincials.
Shawnigan played host Oak Bay for the bronze medal and the final Island spot at provincials, and it ended with a 50-45 loss.
The score was tied at 45-45 with less than a minute left to play when a long rebound ended up in the hands of Oak Bay’s best shooter, who delivered a threepointer fore winning basket. “We were right in the thick of things,” Shawnigan head coach Jason Lam said. “It was just a strange play that decided it. It probably could have gone either way, and I couldn’t be happier with the way the guys played.”
Kento Hori had a game-high 24 points.
Shawnigan opened the tournament with a 67-38 win over Claremont last Thursday, led by 20 points from Hori, 17 from Mostyn Findlay and 10 from Irvin Chen.
The victory put Shawnigan in a semifinal against Dover Bay, but a 20-point showing from Irvin Chen and 14 more from Findlay weren’t enough as Shawnigan fell 48-40.
Redemption came in a crossover game against G.P. Vanier, where a 43-40 victory gave Shawnigan a shot at third place. Findlay scored 18 points and Hori had 10.
Findlay was named a firstteam all-star at the end of the tournament.
Shawnigan may have missed out on provincials, but the fourthplace finish was the best result in school history, and Lam couldn’t be more proud.
“The way they played in the last few weeks, that led to a great opportunity to do something the school had never done before,” he said. “Any disappointment [in missing provincials] is for the guys not getting to experience that. By no means is the season we had a disappointment.”
Cowichan Secondary, who Shawnigan defeated in the North Island final, was awarded an atlarge berth at the provincials, which began in Langley on Wednesday.
“The berth is a celebration of our season – the reward for the work that has gone in to preparing, and playing,” Cowichan coach Lucky Walia said.
“We understand there was no guarantee of being awarded the berth, and now that we have it, our goal is pretty straightforward: work hard, and play our best.”