Mar 3, 2013
The Falcons men's basketball team celebrate their provincial championship win. All photos: Thorsten Gohl.
Vancouver, BC – The Langara Falcons men’s basketball team has brought home the provincial championship title after a record-breaking season.
The team took the gold this weekend at the Pacific Western Athletic Association (PACWEST) championships after a heart-stopping final against the Vancouver Island University Mariners. The Falcons will now head to Quebec to compete in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) national championships in Montreal from March 14 to 16.
“This is a great group of guys and I am so happy that all their hard work paid off with a provincial championship,” said men’s head coach Paul Eberhardt.
Langara headed to the tournament at the top of the league standings after an incredible 20-1 season, beating the previous PACWEST record set by VIU in 2008/2009 (18 wins). Their top place ranking earned them a bye directly into the semi-finals, where they faced local rival Douglas College. But the Royals proved no match as the Falcons gave “one of the most dominating performances ever seen in the PACWEST playoffs,” according to Coach Eberhardt. Langara was up 20 to 0 before Douglas even got on the board, and finished the first quarter with an astonishing 41 to 12 lead.
“I have no words to describe that opening quarter, other than it was as close to perfection as a coach could ask for,” commented Eberhardt. “I was a little worried how we might come out after over a week without playing, but the boys were obviously hungry and ready to go in this game.”
Langara finished the semi with a convincing 103 to 71 victory. Brody Greig was the player of the game with 14 assists, 9 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 steals. Jitinder Lohcham led the scoring with 19 points while pulling in 5 rebounds, and Elliott Mason and Jeff Chu added 17 points apiece.
The win over Douglas set up the final everyone expected, with the second-place seeded VIU Mariners looking to avenge three regular season losses to the Falcons. With a boisterous sold-out crowd cheering both teams on, the game was intense right from the start. The Falcons got off to a good start leading 20 to 12 after the first quarter.
But the second quarter proved to be a challenge, with Mariners all-star guard Brandon Jones putting up an incredible 29 points to advance VIU to a 41 to 37 lead by the half. The Falcons fought back, though, to tie the game at 59 by the end of the third quarter before pushing to take the lead in the fourth. The game ended with the Falcons on top 78 to 74. Jitinder Lohcham had another huge game giving Langara 25 points, and Elliott Mason was announced as Player of the Game after hitting the big shots when the team needed them most and putting his own 13 points towards the victory.
Lohcham, Mason, and Greig were all selected for the tournament 1st All-Star Team, while Jones from VIU was awarded MVP of the championship.
The Falcons will now travel to St. John Abbott College in Sainte Anne de Bellvue, Quebec, from March 14 to 16 to shoot for the title of national champions. They go into the tournament ranked top in the country, and will play their first match against the John Abbott Islanders on March 14 at 8:30 pm local time (5:30 pm PST).
View more photos of the provincial final between Langara and VIU here.
Watch interviewer Charlotte Lau talk to men's head coach Paul Eberhardt and players Brody Greig, Matt Madewan, and Jeff Chu following their championship victory:
Video by Thorsten Gohl.
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