The top-ranked Brentwood College School team won the Countdown to Playoffs senior boys basketball tournament the school hosted along with Shawnigan Lake School last weekend.
“I thought we played pretty well,” Brentwood head coach Blake Gage said. “Our defence took a step forward.”
Brentwood, ranked first among all AA teams in B.C. for four weeks now, played the AAAA Yale Lions in the final and won 78-70.
“It was pretty close,” Gage said. “We gradually pulled ahead. It was fairly comfortable at the end. They’re a good team with three fairly good players. Our boys have a rivalry with them going back to last year.”
To reach the final, Brentwood beat Kwalikum 73-29, AAA Mark Isfeld 55-32 and the Nanaimo District Islanders — the third-ranked AAA team in the province — 74-41 in the semifinal. The games weren’t all as decisive as they might appear, Gage noted.
“The scoreboard made it look that way,” the coach said. “We were playing quite well. Our defence had something to do with it.”
Aaron Shulga and Bruno Chan were named first-team all-stars, and both played extremely well in the final.
“Yale really keyed on our leading scorer, Brendan Sullivan, in the final, and those guys took advantage,” Gage said. “Bruno scored 22 points and did a great job defensively on their team’s best player.”
Nathan Pasloske was named tournament MVP, highlighting how strong Brentwood is, top to bottom.
“The neat thing about our team is that we’re a deep team,” Gage said. “We have 11 guys who can all play. Nathan comes off the bench, but he probably plays as many minutes as anyone on the team.”
Brentwood has two league games and the South Island championships remaining before hosting the Island AA tournament on Feb. 23-25.
Tournament co-hosts Shawnigan Lake went 2-1 at the tournament, beating Pacific Academy, a top-10 AA team, 61-59 in their last game. Tristan Mandur was named a second-team all-star.
“It’s a really impressive job Vito [Pasquale] is doing with those guys.”
Duncan Christian went 1-2 at the tournament, finishing strong with a 70-48 win over Ballenas.