Brentwood plays four Air Show cliffhangers

Jordan Charles, the No. 5 valley youth athlete of the year for 2012 seen at the awards banquet with Olympians Kyle Hamilton and Hilary Stellingwerff, hit a shot at the buzzer to beat Belmont. - Andrew Leong/file
Jordan Charles, the No. 5 valley youth athlete of the year for 2012 seen at the awards banquet with Olympians Kyle Hamilton and Hilary Stellingwerff, hit a shot at the buzzer to beat Belmont.
— image credit: Andrew Leong/file

Brentwood College and Cowichan Secondary School players were literally flying in keeping with the theme of the Pitt Meadows Air Show senior boys’ basketball tournament.

Brentwood was the only AA team entered and held its own by finishing fourth in the elite field after a series of four games that all went down to the wire.

“They were all great games,’’ said Brentwood coach Blake Gage.

First up was Sardis, the eighth-ranked team in the province in AAA, and Brentwood lost by a mere 54-51 score.

“They’re a good team,’’ said Gage. “We were a little flat that game.’’

The top six teams moved into the quarterfinals and the next two with the closest losses. Brentwood fit into the latter category and qualified to play in the top eight.

Facing Belmont, Brentwood eked out a 64-63 win when Jordan Charles scored right on the final buzzer.

“It was pretty dramatic,’’ said Gage.

Brentwood put the ball into play from out-of-bounds with two seconds left and Charles managed to get to the basket just in time.

“We weren’t very good defensively,’’ said Gage. “To their credit, I thought they played really well.’’

Belmont lost its big player during the game but managed to hang around.

The semifinals pitted Brentwood against host Pitt Meadows that ended in a heartbreaking 73-69 loss.

Brentwood was down by two with 50 seconds left but was forced to foul and Pitt Meadows padded the margin at the free throw line.

“They’re a very good team,’’ said Gage. “Both teams shot the ball really well.’’

The game for third and fourth was a rematch with Sardis. Brentwood had an uncontested layup at the buzzer but missed it and lost 65-64.

Gage was pleased with the performance of all his players in pressure-packed situations throughout the tournament.

“A lot of guys stepped up and improved,’’ he said.

Cowichan Thunderbirds competed in the same tournament and placed sixth.

The opener against the North Delta Huskies Thursday ended in a thrilling 89-88 double overtime win.

Jerod Dorby lit up the scoresheet for 43 points and pulled down 26 rebounds. Andrew Larson tallied 24 points and nine rebounds while Cyrus Gray contributed eight points and added 14 rebounds.

The T-Birds found themselves in a tough quarterfinal match Friday against host Pitt Meadows and lost 85-42.

Dorby couldn’t play due to an ankle injury and that severely impacted the offense.

Larson played the lead role with 15 points and five rebounds. Gray hit for 10 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

With Dorby still out of action, the T-Birds took on their familiar island foes from Belmont in the fifth- and sixth-place game and dropped a 57-40 decision.

Gray stepped up to lead the offense with 14 points and nine rebounds.

Larson and Braydon Aumen had 11 points apiece. Larson also tallied four assists.

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