Jadon Cohee sunk the game-winning basket with under a minute to go, lifting the Walnut Grove Gators past Surreyâ€™s Holy Cross Crusaders 66-65 Saturday at the Langley Events Centre.
The match-up decided the third and fourth place teams in the Fraser Valley senior boys Quad A basketball championship tournament.
â€œOn a basis of one to 10, Iâ€™d say a 10,â€ said Gators head coach George Bergen when assessing the play of Cohee, a Grade 12 guard who finished with a team-best 30 points versus the Crusaders. â€œBut it was a team effort.â€
The game pitted the provincially No. 3-ranked Crusaders against the fifth-ranked Gators.
Holy Cross held a slim 65-64 lead before Coheeâ€™s clutch shot decided the outcome.
The Crusadersâ€™ final shot bounced around the rim but stayed out as the game clock ticked down to zero.
Walnut Grove played for third after losing 64-40 to Coquitlamâ€™s Gleneagle Talons in one of two Fraser Valley semifinals held Friday at the LEC.
Last year, the Gators won the Fraser Valley Triple A title and went on to capture the B.C. championship.
This year, at the Quad A level, the Fraser Valley zone is considered by many to be the toughest in the province, with seven teams ranked in the top 10 in B.C.
â€œI think the Fraser Valley is tough. It was tough when I played, it was tough 10 years ago, itâ€™s tough now,â€ Bergen said.
Next up for the Gators is the B.C. senior boys Quad A championships at the LEC. The Gators first game is next Wednesday, March 12 against Queen Charlotte at 8:30 a.m. The tourney runs until Saturday, March 15.
Asked if he thought the win over Holy Cross will give the Gators momentum going into the provincials, Bergen said, â€œIâ€™d say every win gives you momentum, whether itâ€™s early in the season or later, but certainly winning that one is a huge momentum boost.â€
He added, â€œWe have a tough draw [at the provincials], but weâ€™re going to battle hard.â€
FINAL BUZZER: Running simultaneously at the LEC over the weekend were the B.C. junior boys and junior girls championships.
The Gators junior boys finished fourth in B.C. after falling 58-50 to Tamanawis in Saturday afternoonâ€™s bronze medal game.
During the tournament, the junior Gators beat Duchess Park 62-39 Feb. 26 and defeated Fleetwood Park 56-48 Feb. 27 before being edged 49-43 by Panorama Ridge in Fridayâ€™s B.C. semifinal.
In the junior boys gold medal game, West Vancouver edged Panorama Ridge 53-50 to win the B.C. title.
Port Coquitlamâ€™s Riverside Rapids were celebrating Saturday after downing the South Kamloops Titans 46-32 in the B.C. junior girls championship game.