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

Popular retired UFV therapy dog passes away

Mac the Therapy Dog consoled countless students and staff, as well as wildfire victims

Imagination Library Fraser Valley celebrating Christmas in July

Dolly Parton early literacy intiative looking for financial support to help with waitlist

Online submissions now open for virtual Chilliwack Fair

No fee this year to submit entries for food, arts and more in 148th annual Chilliwack Fair

Handgun pointing complaint draws strong RCMP presence at Chilliwack residence Wednesday night

One in custody after brief standoff involving Emergency Response Team and canine unit

Iconic Chilliwack store passes clothing racks on to downtown neighbours

Chilliwack Mission Thriftstore given racks and fixtures as downtown store closes for good

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

Man shot dead in east Abbotsford suburbs

Integrated Homicide Investigative Team called to investigate

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

‘Made in the Cowichan Valley’ coming to a wine bottle near you

Cowichan Valley has the honour of being the first sub-GI outside of the Okanagan

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Police nab three impaired drivers in one night in Maple Ridge

Ridge Meadows RCMP served 80 impaired driving infractions in June

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

Most Read