February frenzy in high school hoop wars

The Burnaby South Rebels and Byrne Creek Bulldogs took positive steps toward securing berths in the AAA provincial high school senior boys basketball championship with victories over East Vancouver schools Wednesday.

The Rebels downed the David Thompson Trojans 82-72 while the Bulldogs beat the Killarney Cougars 96-49 in the Lower Mainland zone tournament.

But despite the wins they both have a ways to go to reach the provincials in Langley March 12-16. On Thursday, the Rebels had to face the St. George's Saints, the No. 5 ranked team in the province, on their hardwood turf near UBC. The Bulldogs were scheduled to go up against the Burnaby Mountain Lions, who won the Burnaby/New Westminster title last week, Thursday evening.

The winners advance to the final four in the double knockout tournament which will see five teams advance to Langley.

• In the AA zone playdowns, Burnaby's St. Thomas More Collegiate Knights were up against it Thursday night with any loss eliminating them from a spot in the provincial tournament in Kamloops.

The Knights play the King George Dragons from Vancouver's West End on Thursday with the winner advancing to a game Friday that will determine the second berth from the zone.

STM was eliminated from gaining the first berth when they were dumped 68-52 by their Catholic school rivals, the Notre Dame Jugglers from Vancouver. Notre Dame will take on the R.C. Palmer Griffins of Richmond on Thursday for the first berth with the loser dropping down to play STM on Friday for the other.

The Knights opened their play in the tournament by downing the Hugh Boyd Trojans from Richmond 66-52 Tuesday. Also that day, Burnaby's Cariboo Hill Chargers were eliminated with a 102-59 loss to Palmer.

The Alpha Aztecs also played in the AA zone tournament defeating the Britannia Bruins of Vancouver 64-60 in a play-in game and then losing 86-26 to Notre Dame.

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