Richmond hoops stars picked for BC teams

The basketball season is being extended for several of Richmond’s up-and-coming high school stars.

After helping to lift the R.A. McMath Wildcats Grade 9 girls’ team to an undefeated season in the Richmond junior league and a berth in the provincial championship in 2012-13, Jessica Jones and Jessica Zawada will be joined by Tia Leung of the Hugh McRoberts Strikers as locals on the under-15 Team BC which will participate in a number of events this summer.

The under-16 boys’ team will also boast a local talent as Chris McAlpine, a six-foot-two guard who attends Vancouver College, has been selected to Team BC, which will be coached by Casey Archibald.

Finally, Antonio Jhuty, a six-foot-two shooting guard who played for the R.C. Palmer Griffins last season has been selected to the provincial under-17 team coached by Todd Jordan, who will be assisted by Richmond’s Jon Acob.

Among the highlights of the team’s summer schedule is the Las Vegas Live classic July 17 to 21 and the Canadian Summer Games Aug. 1 to 9 in Sherbrooke, Que.

•A team consisting of players from several Richmond high schools placed second at the recent Basketball BC under-14 zone team championships at the Langley Events Centre. Featuring Hugh Boyd’s Pavel Prasad, Justin Dy-Pe and Josh Ignacio of MacNeill, Ian Moon and Jeremy Kuo of McRoberts, Antonio Pablo of Palmer, Ryan Yeung of McMath, Matt Chan from Richmond High, Kevin Dhillon of Cambie, and Fardaws Aimaq of Steveston-London, the team went 4-0 in pool play to advance to the semifinals against Burnaby/New Westminster, winning in overtime on a key three-point play by Aimaq and key blocks by Dhillon.

“We were in tough against Burnaby/New Westminster, having played them in exhibition play and losing both games,” said Dy, who coaches the A.R. MacNeill Ravens during the season. “But with everything at stake, and the winner advancing to the gold medal game, we had to play our best basketball. Our guys showed composure and calmness, taking in one possession at a time.”

With 36 seconds to play in the fourth quarter and down by three points, Aimag split a pair of free throws and in the following possession lead guard Prasad rushed up the floor, was fouled, and drained two free throws to force overtime.

Richmond struggled in the gold medal game against Vancouver Island South’s five-out offence and appeared tired from the hard battle in the semis.

“Overall, our boys made us proud and have improved tremendously,” said Dy.

“It’s an awesome group of guys that are keen on learning the game of basketball.”

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