Photo by Chung Chow
The importance of team work was never illustrated more than Sunday night at South Arm Park. And somewhat predictably, it was the X-Falcons who provided the lesson yet again.
Methodically, the team with strong Richmond roots and a strong foundation of success while players at Langara College, the X-Falcons stopped G2 73-63 in the final of the 33rd annual Dolphin Basketball Classic. The victory was the seventh in the X-Falcons’ record championship haul.
Prior to tip off, Navi Sekhon praised his former team, now led by Burnett grad Elliot Mason, for its patient approach. Sekhon was briefly recognized during the tournament as its all-time leading scorer.
The X-Falcons have consistently contended for top honours at the Dolphin Classic since netting their first championship in 2007, led by three-time MVP Randy Nohr who epitomized the smarts and methodical play the X-Falcons have become known for.
Repeat winners in 2008, the X-Falcons lost their title to a team from Seattle in 2009, but returned to the top with back-to-back final-game wins over AthElite in 2010 and 2011 and defeated the Running Rebels and the University of Fraser Valley in 2013 and 2014 and, led by Richmond’s Brody Greig, son of Dolphin alumi Brent Greig, topped Academy for the 2015 title.
A member of the Dolphin organizing team said it was clear the X-Falcons were a determined lot, pointing to Mason sporting “waffle flooring marks on his face and white shirt” after diving for the basketball.
“It was a greatly-contested game,” said Tony Wong-Hen.
The X-Falcons also appeared to have the support of the much of the crowd, certainly the beer garden from which many McMath grads cheered them on to the victory.
Original Grandmas survived a last-second scare from Fusion, whose desperate in-bounds attempt seemed destined to sink before bouncing off the rim, to capture the tournament’s women’s championship by holding on for a 53-52 victory.
•The Dolphin Basketball Classic regularly names all-star teams for both its women’s and women’s divisions. The 2018 all-stars were as follows: Women—Sandy Hujsi (OG’s), Jessica Franz (Chaos), Katy Germain and Jen Ju (Fusion) and MVP Kayli Sartori (OG’s). Men—Chris McLaughlin (Academy), Rashaun Broadus (AIA), Drew Urquhaut (G2), Brody Greig (X-Falcons) and MVP Elliot Mason (X-Falcons). Kevin Kemp won the always-popular slam dunk contest, while Jerric Palma claimed the three-point title.
Abby Zawada, a 2018 graduate of McMath Secondary, was presented with the prestigious Robert Thomas Carkner scholarship award. She’ll join sister Jessica on the University of Fraser Valley women’s team this coming season.