Nanaimo’s Dover Bay Dolphins 2024 BC School Sports 3A Boys Basketball Provincial Champions

Following a devastating defeat in last year’s championship final, coach Darren Seaman and his Dover Bay Dolphins knew a return to the title game was a realistic possibility. And on Saturday afternoon, the Nanaimo school captured what eluded them 12 months ago, defeating Abbotsford’s M.E.I. Eagles 75-61 in the gold-medal contest at the 2024 BC School Sports 3A Boys Basketball Provincial Championships at Langley Events Centre.

“(We knew it was possible) in April of last year, we just have the pieces. The guys were willing to do the work. These kids would show up for anything I put in front of them,” Seaman said. “We flipped over every rock trying to do it. They literally worked six days a
week since April of last year trying to do this.” M.E.I. would race out to a 9-2 lead in the game, but by the time the first quarter buzzer sounded, it was 16-13 Dover Bay. The teams would trade the lead early in the second period before the Dolphins surged ahead for good, leading for all but 3:42 of the championship game.

The title was the first for the program since winning at the 4A level back in 2007. The
team came close, falling short last season in the title game to the St. Patrick Celtics and
that loss stuck with the players. “We’ve been working since last year, since we lost,” said Dover Bay’s Tarman Sandhu. “I promised myself we are going to be back here (and) we’re going to have a gold medal instead of a silver one. And we are here and we are doing it.”

Sandhu and Frank Linder each scored 22 in the victory with Linder also adding a team- high 15 rebounds. Sandhu was named a First Team All-Star while Linder picked up the Most Valuable Player award. He was also the Championship Player of the Game. Linder’s younger brother Joe was a Second Team All-Star and their dad Michael is an assistant coach.

“It’s amazing, to work with your brother and your dad the entire season. It’s been a journey and really, the whole team is the family,” said Frank Linder.

For M.E.I., Ben Brandsma had 17 points and Isaiah Lee finished with 13 points, six rebounds and six assists. Both Lee and the Eagles’ Spencer Tatlock were named First Team All-Stars, along with Dylan King (Lord Byng), Ryan Garcia (St. Patrick) and Sandhu.
The Second Team All-Stars were Harvir Hothi (North Delta), Chad Gammad (A.R. MacNeill), Zeru Abera (St. Thomas More Collegiate), Joe Linder (Dover Bay), Jovin
Sunner (St. Patrick).

Dover Bay’s Hudson Trood was named the Best Defensive Player and the South Kamloops Titans were named the Most Sportsmanlike Team.