If their impressive showing in league play is any indication, the Walnut Grove Gators appear poised to once again play on home soil at next month's B.C. Triple A boys basketball championships.
The Gators, who have made three consecutive appearances at the provincial tournament, including the 2011 competition at the Langley Events Centre, downed their cross-town rivals Brookswood Bobcats 84-58 Thursday at Walnut Grove Secondary.
"Defensively in the second half, we did a much better job and that made the difference," Gators head coach George Bergen said.
Ranked sixth in B.C. among Triple A teams, the Gators don't have a whole lot of size, especially after losing senior forward Paul Getz to a season-ending knee injury a couple of weeks ago, but what they do have is a few sharpshooters and quite a bit of resilience, Bergen said.
"If we hit shots, we'll be all right," Bergen said. "Our game depends on playing good defence and hitting good shots. Domination on the glass will not be our forte."
The win improved the Gators' record to 25-5 overall, and 6-1 in league play.
Sixteen of the Gators' games this season have come against either ranked or honourable mention teams, and in those 16 games, Walnut Grove has gone a cracking 12-4.
The Gators have split with No. 1 Kelowna, Double A No. 1 Mission, and honourable mention W.J. Mouat, while losing to No. 2 Pitt Meadows and honourable mention Burnaby South.
They have beaten No. 5 Terry Fox, No. 8 Oak Bay and No. 10 Byrne Creek, as well as, among others, honourable mention Maple Ridge twice, including a 69-50 win Feb. 7 at WGSS.