Basketball: In school first, King George crowned city champions

MVP Yoel Teclehaimanot drops 39 points in final

King George Dragons 77 - 69 Windermere Warriors 

CHURCHILL SECONDARY — King George forward Yoel Teclehaimanot put up 39 points to lead the Dragons to their first city championship title in a break-out performance that also nabbed the Grade 11 forward tournament MVP honours. 

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Tournament MVP Yoel Teclehaimanot (No. 11) hauls down a rebound. Photo Chung Chow

Playing the undefeated Windermere Warriors for the AA/AAA city banner, Teclehaimanot got hot in the second half and followed a 14-point output in the third quarter with a dozen more points in the fourth to lead the Dragons to a 77-69 victory for the first city title in King George’s 102-year history.

“I’m very, very proud, not just for this group, but for our alumni, our teachers, my old coaches, school staff and everybody,” said coach Darko Kulic. “It is the first time we have ever won it at our school, so it means a lot.”

The AA Dragons led the AAA Warriors 35-33 at the half in a low-scoring contest for a Windermere side that averaged 82 points a game through the regular season.

“Definitely not our best shooting performance of the year,” said Warriors coach Cole Birnie. “They played good defence. They hustled, they got after the ball and they hit their free-throws down the stretch and that really sealed it for them.”

In the third quarter, the Dragons’ six-foot-three Teclehaimanot kept sinking shots, and his teammates kept feeding him the ball.

“I’ll be honest,” said Kulic, “I’ve coached a lot of great, great scores and I will say, every day, he still amazes me. I’m very pleased I have him on my side.”

“He’s an amazing player,” added Dragons guard Shayne Sweder, who contributed 19 points of his own. “We try to get him the ball as much as possible and once you hit him in his spots, he doesn’t miss.”

In the AA province-wide standings, King George bopped around the top 10, peaking at No. 5 in late January.

“We put everything on the line every game. Every day I play with my brothers here. I love these guys, I will do anything on the court for them,” said Sweder.”

Lower Mainland Schedule

AAA regional tourney

The senior boys AAA Lower Mainland tournament began Tuesday at locations around the region.

Windermere is the top Vancouver seed, at No. 4 behind Steveston-London, Byrne Creek and St. Thomas More. Lord Byng is seeded fifth and Gladstone eighth.

The quarterfinals run at 2:45 and 4:30 p.m. Feb. 24 and the third-place game is set for 2:45 p.m. Feb. 26. at the Richmond Oval. The AAA Lower Mainland championship is set for 6:15 p.m. Feb. 26 at the Richmond Oval. The top four teams advance to the AAA B.C. Championships in March at the Langley Events Centre.

AA regional tourney

The senior boys AA Lower Mainland tournament begins next Monday at the Richmond Oval. King George holds the No. 1 seed, followed by the St. Patrick’s Celtics. Notre Dame is No. 5, Britannia No. 6 and Templeton No. 7.

The semifinals are 6:15 and 8 p.m. Feb. 23 with the championship 8 p.m. Feb. 25. The top two teams advance to the AA championships in March at the Langley Events Centre. If necessary, a playoff for the second berth is set for Feb. 26.

 

Championship photos

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Windermere's six-foot-eight centre Milidrag Stupar dishes a pass under close coverage from King George's Trekk Estropia. Photo Chung Chow

 

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King George Dragon Trekk Estropia (No. 13) handles the ball. Photo Chung Chow

 

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King George coach Darko Kulic chats with Shayne Sweder (No. 7) and Kyle Guerrero (No. 6). Photo Chung Chow

 

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King George coaches Darko Kulic (with clip board) and Roger McBride (in white) run the huddle. Photo Chung Chow

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