A devastating ‘gut shot’ ended their championship dreams. But to their credit, the Credo Christian Kodiaks put their disappointment aside to capture the bronze medal.
The Kodiaks were competing at the BC 1A boys basketball championships at the Langley Events Centre with Credo Christian entering the 16-team tournament as the top seed.
The senior-laden team held the No. 1 ranking for much of the season so capturing the school’s first boys basketball championship was the team’s goal.
“They were pretty crushed,” admitted coach Justin Vanderploeg, referring to a 67-50 semifinal loss to the Heritage Christian Saints on Friday night.
The Saints wound up capturing the gold medal with a 65-53 victory over the Bulkley Valley Christian Royals while the Kodiaks were relegated the bronze medal game on Saturday morning against the No. 2 seed Similkameen Sparks.
Credo Christian led after one quarter in their semifinal contest but were down 44-40 after three quarters.
“We came out great with lots of energy but weren’t able to sustain it,” Vanderploeg said. “Heritage just simply played a better four quarters than we did. They did a great pressuring our guys and caused a lot of turnovers.”
Not helping matters was the fact the Kodiaks were down their starting point guard, Nolan Dewitt, who injured his ankle the game before.
“I told them that a morning bronze medal game was not going to be won by the better team, but by the team who had more character, the team who could take a gut shot the evening before and still have the heart to play another game,” Vanderploeg said.
Credo shot 46.2 per cent on their field goals in the first half as they raced out to a double digit lead, never trailing in the 83-65 victory.
Will Dykstra (31 points, six rebounds), Bryce Pol (21 points, eight rebounds, five assists and two steals) and Josh Allison (13 points, six rebounds) led the way offensively. Jacob Hoogstra had a team-high nine rebounds to go along with his six points.
Both Dykstra and Allison were named provincial first team all-stars.
This was Credo Christian’s 11th appearance at the provincial championships and the bronze medal is a first for the Kodiaks senior boys program. It also marks their fourth-straight top-five finish at provincials as the team was fourth in 2015, second in 2016 and fifth last year.