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McMath boys to play for B.C. hoop title tonight

Don Fennell   Feb-26-2019

McMath Wildcats netted a thrilling 69-67 overtime win over Vancouver College Fighting Irish in semifinal action at the B.C. Junior Boys’ Basketball Championships Monday at Langley Events Centre. They’ll face Burnaby South in Tuesday’s final.

Paul Yates, Vancouver Sports Pictures


It required overtime, but Richmond’s McMath Wildcats have earned the opportunity to play for a provincial basketball championship.

Down 43-30 in the third quarter, the No. 6-ranked ‘Cats clawed their way back for a remarkable 69-67 overtime victory against No. 2-ranked Vancouver College Fighting Irish in Final Four play Monday night in the B.C. junior boys’ tournament at Langley Events Centre. The victory sets up a rematch of the Vancouver and District final between McMath and No. 1-ranked Burnaby South Rebels tonight (Tuesday) at 7 p.m.

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Undefeated with a 33-0 record heading into tonight’s provincial title game, Burnaby South rolled to a 58-35 win over No. 4-ranked St. Patrick’s of Vancouver in the other semifinal. Burnaby South defeated McMath 71-57 in the district final Feb. 15.

After watching his potential buzzer-beater miss the mark, Travis Hamberger drained a three-point shot in overtime against the Irish, to even the score at 65-65, and the stole the ball on the next possession to score a lay-up to put the Wildcats in front. Then after the Irish again evened the score, a triple-teamed Hamberger found Elias Khan in the paint for the winning basket.

Hamberger finished with a game-high 21 points, while Cole Cruz-Dumont had 14 for the Irish before leaving due to an injury.

Coached by Jon Acob and Chris Kennedy, the Wildcats have proven to be resilient this season. It’s clearly a team that reflects the meaning of the word.

“When Chris and I took on coaching this team, we just wanted to promote the idea of working as a team,” said Acob. “The guys have bought in.”


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