Despite producing Olympic-medallist rowers and World Cup rugby players for Canada, Brentwood College has no nickname for its sports teams. But it has game, and that has ignited the question of the season in B.C. school sports.
Are the double-A provincial champions the best high school boys’ basketball team in the province across all categories, including the big-school quad-A level?
Do the math: Brentwood College beat the B.C. quad-A champion Burnaby South Rebels by 25 points in their only meeting this season.
Both teams won their respective provincial championships over the weekend at the Langley Events Centre. Burnaby South, which upset the top-ranked Oak Bay Bays in the quarter-finals and the upstart No. 13 Belmont Bulldogs in the semifinals, beat Semiahmoo 80-72 in the quad-A championship game for its first B.C. championship since 1979 and the disco era.
Brentwood College destroyed the King George Dragons of Vancouver 97-59 in the double-A championship game to win that provincial title for the second consecutive season.
“We would have been in the conversation at the quad-A level this season,” said Brentwood College head coach Blake Gage.
“But it’s tournament play, and anything can happen,” he added, pointing to Oak Bay’s “terrific team” being upset.
The Bays? Well, Brentwood College beat them, too, this season in the UVic Alumni Tournament final. Brentwood College also beat B.C. quad-A fourth-place Belmont and went 1-1 against quad-A finalist Semiahmoo in going 29-3 on the season.
“We played in the best quad-A tournaments and had success,” said Gage.
“We really challenged our players. We travelled quite a bit and played a really tough schedule. So we were ready for anything in the provincials because we had seen it all this season.”
Gage said the reason Grade 12-heavy Brentwood College did not declare to go quad-A this season is because it would have required a commitment at that level for several seasons and not just one.
This season’s Brentwood team was truly special.
“[But] we couldn’t sustain at that level,” admitted Gage, who is in his 11th season of guiding Brentwood College.
Even if the rules allowed cherry-picking and a move up for one season, Brentwood would likely not have done it.
“It would have conveyed the message that this year’s team’s experience was more important than that of last year’s, and of what next year’s will be, and that’s not fair,” said Gage.
“And the double-A level on the Island has been historically very strong and was again this season and we got some really good games in league play.”
Brendan Sullivan was named B.C. tournament MVP and Bruno Chan best defensive player among a standout Brentwood College roster that also included first-team all-star Nathan Pasioske, championship-game MVP Somto Dimonachie and rebounding whiz Casper Poelen.