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#1 Walnut Grove Gators Take 2016 Kodiak Klassic Title

#1 Walnut Grove went through the 2016 Kodiak Klassic field with relative ease despite playing without two of their starters, Brett Christensen (6’5″) & Andrew Goertzen (6’8″), who were committed to the Gators’ quest for a BC Volleyball title at the Langley Events Centre. Class of 2017 stars Ty Rowell and Jake Cowley were unstoppable as James Woods, Luke Adams and Alasdair Coyle filled in for the missing Gators. Despite a close game against the Holy Cross Crusaders, the Gators ran through the rest of their competition en route to the Kodiak Klassic title.

#5 St. George’s Saints were led by 6’10” F Jacob van Santen, guards Jon Mikhlin,  Justin Huang and Adrian Bacic. Despite going behind 20 points in their first round matchup against Lord Tweedsmuir, the Saints fought back to win 91-84 while taking down #7 Semiahmoo & #3 Kitsilano to earn a spot in the final game.

Having played with each other over the last few summers with their DRIVE club, everyone was expecting an exciting matchup between van Santen/Cowley and Mikhlin/Rowell. Christensen and Goertzen joined their teammates for the first time and while coming off the bench, their presence was immediately felt on both ends of the floor. Walnut Grove ran out to a 27-10 lead in the first quarter behind Cowley’s 10 points and 6 rebounds while Rowell added 9 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists. Adrian Bacic carried the Saints’ with 7 points as van Santen chipped in 3.

45 seconds into the second quarter, the lead was stretched to 36-12 and just before half the Gators led 47-17 after a Cowley coast to coast dunk. The Gators’ height was too much for the smaller Saints as they had 14 offensive rebounds in the first half and led 49-19 after 20 minutes behind Cowley (14p, 8r), Rowell (11p), Goertzen (6p, 8r) and Woods (5p, 5r). Bacic was held at 7 points but guard Jon Mikhlin added 6 points in the second quarter.

The Gators would continue to rebound and run their way through the Saints as Bacic did his best to score for his team but Walnut Grove had too much firepower. Late in the 3rd quarter Mikhlin limped off after a knee injury and left the Saints depleted at guard – Walnut Grove led 67 – 46 after 3. Although Walnut Grove took their foot off the pedal they continued to dominate the game and ended with a 92-65 win over the St. George’s Saints.

Walnut Grove: Cowley (18p, 10r, 3a), Rowell (19p, 3r, 3a), Woods (15p, 8r, 3a), Christensen (12p, 9r), Goertzen (9p, 8r), Coyle (8p), Adams (4p)

St. George’s: van Santen (18p, 11r), Bacic (18p, 1r), Mikhlin (6p, 2r), Huang (2p, 3r)

Walnut Grove’s Path to the Championship
Sweet 16: Walnut Grove 81 – #8 Holy Cross 71
Elite 8: Walnut Grove 86 – HM Terry Fox 56
Final 4: Walnut Grove 91 – #6 Burnaby South 76
Championship Game: Walnut Grove 92 – #5 St. George’s 65

Final Standings (Current Ranking):
1. Walnut Grove (1)
2. St. George’s (5)
3. Burnaby South (6)
4. Kitsilano (3)
5. Kelowna (2)
6. Vancouver College (HM)
7. Terry Fox (HM)
8. Semiahmoo (7)
9. Holy Cross (8)
10. W.J. Mouat (HM)
11. Yale (HM)
12. Lord Tweedsmuir (HM)
13. Oak Bay (4)
14. Heritage Woods
15. Killarney
16. Port Moody

Award Winners

Most Valuable Player: Jake Cowley, Walnut Grove
mvp

Outstanding Defensive Player: Diallo Oballa, Kitsilano

1st Team All-Star:
Jacob Van Santen, St. George’s
Ty Rowell, Walnut Grove
Jusuf Sehic, Burnaby South
Jon Mikhlin, St. George’s
Mason Bourcier, Kelowna

1st-team

2nd Team All-Star:
Vince Sunga, Burnaby South
James Woods, Walnut Grove
Luka Lizdek, Kitsilano
Sam Bailey, Vancouver College
Josiah Masandrea, Terry Fox

2ndteam

Kodiak Klassic Scholarship Winners:
Jaden Touchie, Oak Bay
Owen Keys, Kelowna
Luka Lizdek, Kitsilano
Kenan Hadzovic, W.J. Mouat
Thomas Venos, Heritage Woods

scholar

Tournament history, bracket and scores can be seen at kodiakklassic.ca

#BCHoop

Photos courtesy of Heritage Woods Secondary School.

Posted in: High School

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