The GW Graham senior boys basketball team fell 96-94 to the Abbotsford Panthers in the Saturday night finale of the inaugural Big Ticket Tournament.
The game was played on the campus of Simon Fraser University and had the rivals tipping off for the second time in four days.
GWG topped Abbotsford 87-80 last Wednesday, but by the time the final rolled around the Grizzlies were running out of gas. After dropping Argyle by a 75-60 score in a Friday night semi-final, GW Graham was back on the court Saturday afternoon playing a non-tournament exhibition game at UBC’s War Memorial court against the No. 2 ranked AAA powerhouse Charles Tupper (Vancouver) Tigers.
The Grizzlies beat the Tigers 83-75, then fought traffic back to SFU for a 7 p.m. start against Abbotsford.
Cole Wicker led GWG with 29 points against the Panthers, including six three pointers. Jude Hall shot 7-of-11 from the field for 22 points, adding a team-high five assists. Ty Hall and Geevon Janday both hit double digits in scoring with 12 points apiece, but their team was running on fumes in the fourth quarter as Abby pulled out the win.
“It was the perfect first week of the season for us,” said GWG head coach Jake Mouritzen. “We went 5-1 and more importantly played five really good teams and competed hard every night.
“Our team is really learning how to play in tight games, and execute in pressure-packed situations. It really felt like we were playing games in February and March this past week. The intensity level was super high every night, and to be able to do that in November-December will really help us come March when we set our eyes on a AAA provincial championship.”
Wicker, Janday and Anmol Shoker each came away from the tournament with $1,000 scholarships.