Huskies Win Provincial Title

Please credit Paul Yates Vancouver Sports Pictures

I remember a while back talking to John Buis about the success that the North Delta Huskies had winning the title Provincial Title (1970-71) with him being named BC High School All-Star (1972 and 1973) and what it meant to the community.

He mentioned that the credit should be given to Stan Stewardson who was honoured by the ND Huskies and coach Gary Sandhu for the tribute at half-time. On what was named Stan Stewardson night.

With this in mind as well as their outdated championship in 1990 it was no surprise that the coaching staff had the team well prepared for this years High School Championship.

Adding to the team roster was basketball legend Bill Edwards who worked with Stewardson passing his knowledge on for future generations of the game, in a move that proved a success to develop, teach and grow future stars of the game.

The wait is finally over and one might mention that this championship started after their showing in the 2015 Grade 8  Provincials as well as a respectable third place finish in 2017 at the BC Junior Championship final.

The work began last fall if not in the months earlier and the coaching staff knew they had something special and unique with such an impressive group of talented young players that “bought into the program.”

Delta started the High School Championships as a #9 seed after a fourth place finish in the Fraser Valley playoffs championships, but managed to upseed off #1 ranked Charles Tupper in the quarter-finals then managed a semi-final victory over Duchess Park.

The final would see Delta take on the Vernon Panthers in the 3A championship which would be a nail-bitter to the end.

Delta were up by a 13-9 margin after the first quarter, extending their lead outscoring Vernon by a 13-6 score in the 2nd quarter, leading at the half by a respectable 22-19 score.

Delta’s Surai Gahir was 1-7 in field goal attempts, but went two for two in free throws leading the team in most stats at the half.

Vernon were led by both Kevin Morgan (3-6) and Isaiah Ondrik (4-14), but were unable to sink any free throws in the first half.

The see-saw battle continued with both Vernon and Delta exchanging the lead throughout the second half, but the end result would see Delta forced to “dig deep” to pull out the win.

Arun Atker managed his second three pointer ( second of the quarter/third of the game) getting his team within one with 63 seconds remaining, but from there it was the Gahir show.

It was a turnover causing Gahir to be fouled, that saw him hit one of two free throws with 6.7 seconds remaining, giving the Panthers had one last chance at the buzzer and to the delight of Huskie supporters the ball failed to drop sending Delta fans to the floor.

Gahir scored 10 (game-high 18 points) in the third quarter helping Delta pull out the 45-44 win.

When the final buzzer went, students filled the court, but in what I call a classy more it was Surai Gahir who went to some of the Vernon players congratulating them on a well played game.

Bedlam filled the court with Huskie supporters, but the one the coaching staff embraced was Bill Edwards first, then they went over to give a wave of “thanks” to the Delta fans.

It’s interesting to note that the Vernon Panthers team is full of football players who not only played in but won the Subway Bowl Double-A Title  hammering Robert Bateman 48-12 at BC Place Stadium.

Congratulations to the ND Huskies on the Championship victory.

Sound of Victory

One note of foolishness at the half was when one “clown” threw a air-horn onto the floor narrowly missing two players.

Not only was security quick to remove this individual and I am hearing two persons, but ND Secondary Vice Principal was quick to intervene as well.

Bad Sportsmanship by foolish individuals.

Thanks to Gary Ahuja for his assistance throughout the event.