North American High School Border Battle -
On Saturday and Sunday evening, the top basketball teams in British Columbia will compete in the first annual Howard Tsumura Invitational at the Langley Events Centre. While there will be a number of in-province teams battling it out on the hard court over the two day event, the main draw will be watching the two of the top ranked squads compete against the best team in the United States.
Saturday evening welcomes the Findlay Prep Pilots, from Las Vegas, to square off against the Walnut Grove Gators. The Pilots have been big names in the US basketball scene over the last few years, as three alumni have been drafted into the NBA, including Seattle native Avery Bradley (Boston Celtics, 2010) and two Canadian born players, Tristan Thompson(Cleveland Cavaliers, 2011) and Cory Joseph (San Antonio Spurs, 2011).
This year’s crop of Pilots include Washington Huskies point guard recruit Nigel Williams-Goss. A 6’3″ guard, Williams-Goss was heavily recruited by UNLV, Oklahoma, Harvard and PAC12 rival UCLA before committing to take over for Abdul Gaddy in 2013. Ranked among the top 50 players in the United States, Williams-Goss will give the Gators and Warriors back court all they can handle.
Speaking of guard talent, the Gators feature a standout player of their own in junior Jadon Cohee. A finalist in last years BC Boys AAA Championships, Cohee has his sights set on finishing the job next February. Already receiving notice by such West Coast schools as Washington State, Santa Clara and Portland, the 6’4″ point guard may find himself extending the on court battle with Williams-Goss into a PAC12 rivalry.
On Sunday, the Warriors will take their turn at the US squad that features six players who are already bound for NCAA Div 1 careers. With nine seniors on their roster, the Warriors will be one of the deepest and most experienced teams in BC this season.
Leading the way for WRCA is senior point guard Tyus Allen, who after leading his school to a junior championship in 2010/11, would like nothing better than to cap off his Warriors career with another banner.
While the Pilots may come into the event as the heavy favorite, don’t expect either BC team to back down and cowl in fear, as both of the local programs will take this experience and use it on their road to possibly squaring off against each other in March.
TSUMURA BASKETBALL INVITATIONAL
(all games at Langley Events Centre)
6:30 p.m. — No. 6 Sir Winston Churchill vs. Terry Fox (boys)
8 p.m. – No. 1 Walnut Grove vs. Findlay Prep (boys)
2 p.m. — No. 6 Riverside vs. No. 2 Oak Bay (girls)
3:30 p.m. — No. 1 South Kamloops vs. No. 2 Brookswood (girls)
5 p.m. — No. 4 White Rock Christian vs. Findlay Prep (boys)
6:30 p.m. — No. 5 W.J. Mouat vs. No. 1 Walnut Grove (boys)
* all games can be viewed online at www.sportscanada.tv *