Unity Christian wins single A senior boys provincial basketball championship

An epic all-Chilliwack final saw Unity Christian taking on their rivals from Highroad Academy.

An all-Chilliwack battle in the single A senior boys basketball provincial championship game saw the Unity Christian Flames beat the Highroad Academy Knights 65-61.

The thrilling battle played Saturday at the Langley Events Centre saw the Flames finally overcome a foe that had beaten them in their four previous matchups.

Unity Christian jumped out to an 18-11 lead after one quarter, only to see the Knights roar back and take a 27-26 advantage into halftime.

Highroad Academy pushed their lead to seven points in the third quarter before the pendulum swung in the opposite direction.

Unity Christian went on an impressive run, erasing the deficit and carrying 44-40 lead into the final frame.

“Often, when our shooting would dry up or things weren’t going our way, we would have a tough time focusing and being positive,” said coach David Bron. “We created a ‘recognize – breathe – refocus’ timeout format where we would play rock, paper scissors just to recalibrate mentally. It definitely paid off for us as we were able to bounce back when Highroad started taking it to us.”

READ MORE: Unity Christian girls win Grade 9 basketball championship

READ MORE: Unity Christian repeats as provincial volleyball champs

The teams matched each other shot for shot down the stretch, with Unity Christian unable to pull away and Highroad unable to get any closer.

The Flames got the last bucket with 53 seconds remaining and hung on for the first senior boys win in the school’s history.

Caleb Graham led Unity Christian with 18 points.

MVP Keegan Schuurman had 15 points and nine rebounds, and Colby Vanderkooi led the Flames with 10 boards.

Highroad Academy’s Elijah Grimard was a one-man band offensively, producing 30 of the Knights’ 61 points. The next highest scorer on his team was Aidan Morris with 13 points, while Easton Abel had 11.

“Hats off to Highroad,” Bron said. “Playing them for years, and five times this season, we have become very familiar with each other. We have such respect for that team and program, and (head coach) Mike (Shannon) has done a great job.

“It’s gotta be so tough to come that close, but they and their fans were congratulatory of us and showed great character the entire time.”

Bron said a group of boys have been working towards this moment since Grade 6 and this year’s tournament was their last chance to win.

The team is graduating 10 seniors.

“What was so cool was watching them buy into the daily hard work that it took to get there,” Bron said. “I genuinely looked forward to going to practice because of them. I would get pestered to open the gym in the mornings and on weekends. This dedication and amount of work that was put in over the years is why winning this championship is so meaningful. It represents so much learning, growth and relationship building. That is what I love about coaching and the game of basketball, and what really matters.

“I truly hope the boys that graduate this year will be able to use the discipline and lessons learned from our time together to go on and be successful in whatever they do. I will really miss them next year.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

B.C. High School Basketball

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chilliwack RCMP seeking witnesses to hillside hit-and-run

Did you see a man struck by a white Honda near Teskey and Stoneview Drive on Friday night?

Chilliwack partners unite to make sure kids don’t go hungry during the pandemic

Food donations to be dropped off Tuesday, April 7, at Salvation Army Church on Brooks Avenue

Fraser Valley auto sound business starts producing face shields

Certified Auto Sound & Security is doing what it can to help frontline healthcare workers.

Fabrication work for Vedder Bridge roundabout art project is well underway

Funds of $255K held in reserve from new bridge budget do not represent a new cost for artwork

Chilliwack school trustees using Zoom to conduct meetings during pandemic

Public participation not available, but staff taking public questions before and after meetings

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Look at hospitalizations, not recovery stats for COVID-19, B.C. professor says

Cases in hospital are a definitive count of people who have the novel coronavirus

B.C. First Nations want to launch fight of Trans Mountain pipeline approval

Last month, the Supreme Court of Canada decided not to hear five challenges about the pipeline

N95 masks on the way for Canada after 3M reaches deal with White House

The Trump White House had ordered 3M to stop shipping masks to Canada

Here’s how to talk to people who aren’t taking physical distancing seriously

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

Fraser Valley auto sound business starts producing face shields

Certified Auto Sound & Security is doing what it can to help frontline healthcare workers.

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

Most Read