Flames fly at hoops tournament

The Unity Christian Flames impressed at the Provincial Christian Schools basketball tournament at Surrey's Pacific Academy.

The Unity Christian senior boys basketball team placed second out of 14 teams at the Provincial Christian Schools tournament, held last weekend at Surrey’s Pacific Academy.

The Flames entered the tourney as the fifth seed and squashed Campbell River 85-9 in their opening game. Brad Driesen had 16 points as UC’s height overwhelmed the Campbell River defence.

UC faced their arch-rivals from Langley Christian in game two, jumping out to a 42-20 lead then hanging on for a 58-50 win. Ryan Billsten led all scorers with 21 points.

Nathan Vugteveen’s 24 points led the Flames past Surrey’s Regent Christian Academy in a semi-final, landing them in the PCS tournament final for the first time in school history.

UC took on Abbotsford Christian in the final.

At full strength, the locals might have been even-odds to win.

But a pair of ankle injuries to key players Kevin VanRyk and Mark VanWyk led to a 65-45 loss for the undermanned Flames.

Vugteveen earned first all-star status for his performance in the tournament, with Billstens earning a spot on the second all-star team.