Fever rises for high school hoops

Burnett Breakers
Burnett Breakers' guard Brandon Beavis goes airborn against the Hugh McRoberts Strikers Wednesday, during the Richmond high school senior boys' basketball playoffs. The Breakers and Palmer Griffins will meet in the title game at 5 p.m. at Burnett.
— image credit: Don Fennell photo

It’s that time of the year again, when February Fever reaches epidemic levels.

This is playoff time in Richmond high school basketball, when the hoops game takes centre stage.

Emotions were high Wednesday at J.N. Burnett Secondary, which is this week hosting the senior boys’ championship.

The upstart A.R. MacNeill Ravens, whose program is continually gaining traction, eliminated the former provinicial powerhouse Richmond Colts in the day’s opening game with an impressive 76-56 victory. Next up, the Matthew McNair Marlins used an up-tempo style to outlast the Steveston-London Sharks 93-76, while in the two nightcaps to decide the two teams that will battle for Lulu Island bragging rights in Friday’s final, the host Breakers pulled away from a nervous-looking Hugh McRoberts Strikers for a 71-50 win, while the defending playoff champion R.C. Palmer Griffins used their experience to get by this year’s league champion R.A. McMath Wildcats 80-66. As a result, it will be the Griffins versus the Breakers for the Richmond title beginning at 5 p.m. Friday at Burnett.

The senior girls’ title will also be decided at  5 p.m. Friday at Steveston-London, where a pair of longtime rivals, the host Sharks will entertain the McMath Wildcats. Steveston-London (first in the regular season with an 8-0 record) claimed their place in the final with a 72-52 win over MacNeill Ravens on Wednesday, while the Wildcats (7-1 in regular-season play) advanced with a 45-39 win over the Hugh Boyd Trojans, which placed third in the league at 6-2. Also on Wednesday, McRoberts got by McNair 56-50 and H.J. Cambie Crusaders topped the Richmond Colts 61-40.

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