Resilience at its finest

Drew Urquhart hustles back on defence.

On Thursday, February 21st, 2013, the St. George’s Saints began their quest for a place at the table along side all of the other top tier teams in the Lower Mainland Championships. It was crucial that the Saints play well; they had to place at least within the top 5 of 16 teams in the Lower Mainland Championships.

The Saints’ first game was against a team they had previously conquered, the Burnaby South Rebels. The game started off with both teams going back and forth, each putting up points to tie the score. By the end of the 1st half the Saints were behind by only 3 points, fighting hard to catch up. During the middle of the third quarter the Saints’ caught second wind and caught up to the Rebels, putting up an astounding 10-point lead. But the Saints began to slip, allowing the key Rebel shooters to sink an astounding number of 3-pointers. With 37 seconds left on the clock, the saints were down 1 point but had possession of the ball. Due to numerous stops in the play and technical difficulties with the scoreboard, the Saints’ possession time dropped from 37 seconds to a pitiful 15 seconds. Unfortunately the Saints could not get the ball into the basket, and as a result they lost their first game 84-83 in the Lower Mainland’s, pushing them into a lower pool.

After losing their first match, the Saints would have to win their next 3 consecutive games in order to claim a spot in the top 5, and ultimately move onto the BC provincial tournament.

The team was determined, and with great resilience they showed the non-believers that they were destined to move on. The Saints move forward crushing Sir Charles Tupper 94-55, after that they moved onto Byrne Creek destroying them with a score of 88-68. The third decisive game the Saints played was against Churchill, a bout that would prove more difficult than the rest. But the Saints pulled through with the “W”, winning by a score of 89-73. “Churchill rose their level of play as expected, but we stuck together in the 4th quarter and executed everything perfectly,” said team member Winston Jin.

After securing their spot in the top 5, the Saints had but one last game to play against Burnaby Mountain that would not only decide who would place 3rd/4th, but would also decide their seating at provincials. Once again through sheer determination the Saints battled hard, winning 90-61, and placing 3rd overall in the Lower Mainland Championships. “Luck was just not on our side against Burnaby South, but with the way we played for the rest of the tournament I couldn’t be more proud for our team,” said starter-shooting guard Will Chamberlain.

Starters Drew Urquhart and Deklan Chung, won numerous awards including 1st team all stars, as well as Urquhart winning Best Offensive Player of the entire tournament.

The Saints have much more work ahead of them in preparation for the provincial tournament, there is no better time than now for the team to excel. But only time will tell how well they will play in, for some of them, their final and most significant tournament of their lives.