Sports

February fever leads to March madness

By Don Fennell

Published 2:56 PST, Mon February 4, 2019

Playoff time is here.

Starting today (Monday, Feb. 4), Richmond high school hoops steps up to another level with city championships on the line.

For those teams fortunate to extend their seasons, the ultimate goal is to go from February fever to March madness thus earning a shot at a provincial championship.

The McMath Wildcats senior girls’ basketball team will draw plenty of interest after capping their regular-season schedule with a 79-59 victory over North Surrey on Seniors Night Friday at the Richmond Olympic Oval. The victory was the Wildcats’ 15th in a row.

In front of a strong and supportive fan base, the Wildcats took time out to honour their five graduating players—Jayna Wilson, Morgan Flynn, Bella Lawson, Jazzy Tufnail and Leah Hillman. All these players started the game and staked McMath to an early 20-11 lead. They also all hit the scoresheet, with Wilson leading the way with a team-high 22 points while going six-for-11 from three-point range.

McMath, which went 10-0 in league play, opens the playoff round Monday with a 4:15 p.m. showdown with the Matthew McNair Marlins at R.C. Palmer Secondary. The winner will advance to the city semifinals, with game time being 6 p.m. Tuesday (also at Palmer). The finals are set for Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. at JN Burnett Secondary.

Based on the season results, McMath should be favoured to make the finals against either Steveston-London Sharks of Hugh Boyd Trojans. Both teams offered tough tests to their Richmond rival.

A first- or second-place finish among Richmond AAA teams will put McMath into the Lower Mainland championship Crehan Cup tournament scheduled to tip-off Saturday, Feb. 9 at Argyle Secondary in North Vancouver. The tournament wraps up Feb. 16 at Vancouver’s Lord Byng Secondary.

SENIOR BOYS

AR MacNeill Ravens soared to their second straight Richmond’s senior boys’ regular-season pennant; like the 2017-18 season, with a 10-0 record. Richmond Colts were a close second with a 9-1 record, while McMath went 8-2.

The Richmond playoffs will be held the week of Feb. 12 to 16 at Steveston-London Secondary.

JUNIOR BOYS

The McMath Wildcats bring a 10-0 record into this week’s city playoffs which begin Tuesday afternoon (Feb. 5) at HJ Cambie Secondary. Coming off 9-1 and 8-2 league records respectively, MacNeill and Steveston London will also be formidable as will the 7-3 Burnett Breakers. Three teams will earn berths in the Vancouver and District playdowns.

JUVENILE GIRLS

Hugh Boyd Trojans (9-0) and McMath Wildcats (8-1) lead the pack into this week’s city playoffs which begin today (Monday) at Hugh Boyd Secondary. Palmer Griffins (7-2) and McRoberts Strikers (6-3) also look to make noise, with the two finalists Wednesday (game time is 5 pm) advancing to the Vancouver and District playdowns.

JUVENILE BOYS

Richmond Colts take a perfect 8-0 league record into this week’s city championships to be played on their home court though Thursday (Feb.7). Three teams are vying for berths in the Vancouver and District playdowns, with McMath and MacNeill (both 6-2 during the regular season) likely to join the Colts.

BANTAM GIRLS

Burnett, MacNeill and McNair all earned tickets to the Vancouver and District championships following final-game victories last Thursday during the city championships at McNair Secondary. Burnett outscored Steveston-London 47-36 while MacNeill (regular-season champions with an 8-0 mark) topped McNair (second at 8-1) 47-38.

BANTAM BOYS

Richmond Colts, Burnett and MacNeill all booked their spots in the Vancouver and District championships with final-game wins last Friday at the city championships played at MacNeill Secondary. Regular-season champion Richmond (9-1) continued their winning ways by getting past Burnett 61-33, while MacNeill (second during the season at 8-2) edged surging Cambie (fourth during the season at 6-4) 52-50.

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