Another weekend, another tournament title for the White Rock Christian Academy Warriors senior boys basketball team.
The Warriors collected their third championship trophy in as many weeks Saturday when they knocked off the Walnut Grove Gators 75-70 to win the Vancouver College Emerald Tournament.
Ranked second in B.C. among class AAA teams, the Warriors beat the third-ranked Gators in double overtime to win Coquitlam's Legal Beagle tourney on Jan. 12 and then earned Surrey bragging rights by downing the fifth-ranked Tamanawis Wildcats in the title game of the Surrey RCMP Classic on Jan. 19.
"Over the last three weeks we've had by far the toughest schedule of any team in the province," said Warriors coach Dale Shury. "In our last 15 games we've played seven different teams that have been in the rankings at different times this year. We lost the first game to (fourth-ranked) Kitsilano, but now we've won 14 in a row including three tournament finals in as many weeks."
In Vancouver last week, the Warriors opened the Emerald tourney by beating Oak Bay 75-55. White Rock then toppled defending provincial champion Terry Fox 74-66 in Friday's semifinal round.
That set up a rematch with Langley's scrappy Gators and Shury said the second game in three weekends between the two was a lot like the first.
"It was the same kind of game as the Legal Beagle final," he said. "We fell behind early in both of the games except the first time around, we got back into it in the second quarter. This time we were down by 10 at halftime and I knew the guys were pretty exhausted both mentally and physically after all of the games we've played in the last three weeks. So I told the guys we didn't need the 10 points rights away; five points in each of the last two quarters and we would be right with them at the end. Instead, the guys came out hard and erased the 10-point lead in three minutes."
Swingman Vartan Tanielian led the Warriors past Walnut Grove with 24 points and was named the defender of the game. Guard Tyus Allen scored 16 points in the final and earned his third MVP award in as many weeks. Peter Spangehl collected 17 points and was selected to the first all-star team.
Shury also singled out Sam Ykema for his contributions in the three games.