An offensive eruption in the second quarter fueled the Unity Christian Flames on Saturday afternoon. Down 21-13 after one quarter, the Flames exploded in a second quarter which saw them shoot nearly 58 per cent as they scored 35 points to seize control in what became an 89-71 rout of Victoria’s Glenlyon Norfolk Gryphons on Saturday afternoon at Langley Events Centre.

The teams were the top two seeds – Unity entered as the No. 1 – for the BC School Sports 1A Boys Basketball Provincial Tournament.But while the Flames may have struggled in the first 10 minutes, head coach David Bron knew his team’s depth would kick in at some point. “We had to be mentally tough when we went down,” the coach said. “But we just had to lean into that advantage. All season, we practiced playing up-tempo, good hard switching-D, pressing, and eventually the other team gets gassed.”

By the time the teams went to the locker room for halftime, Unity Christian was ahead 48-31 and well on their way to the victory, leading by as many as 26 at one point in the fourth quarter. Levi Van Egdom was named the Championship Player of the Game as well as Most Valuable Player, after scoring 35 points to key the Flames attack. Seth Schuurman added 15 points and eight rebounds and Jay Smeins chipped in 13.

Callum Shillington had 21 points and seven rebounds, to go along with three assists, two steals and a blocked shot, Mason Carlson added 17 points and Jacob Hier had a dozen points and 13 rebounds for the Gryphons who only featured a single Grade 12 player on their roster.

The Flames are also a relatively young squad with a trio of Grade 12s.
This marked the second consecutive 1A Championship for the Chilliwack school, after also winning the 2020 title, as they became the first repeat champion since Kelowna Christian took back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012.
Schuurman, Smeins, Carlson were all named First Team All-Stars alongside Unity Christian’s Asher Toth and Cedars Christian’s Mitch Crosina.

The Second Team All-Stars were Shillington, Evan Bowman (Unity Christian), David Loki (Bulkley Valley), Diego Grijalva (Fernie) and Tony Kibonge (Cedars Christian).
Cedars Christian’s Seth Hulka was also named the Best Defensive Player and the Northside Christian Northstars were named the Most Sportsmanlike Team.

In the third-place game, it was Prince George’s Cedars Christian Eagles edged the Fernie Falcons 70-69.

1A Highlights: