What a game.
The Fulton Maroons nearly blew a six-point lead in the final 30 seconds of regulation time, then subdued their crosstown rivals, the Seaton Sonics, 104-96 in double overtime in Wednesday’s final of the the North Zone Senior Boys AA Basketball Championships before a large, raucous crowd of family, friends and student bodies at the Fulton Gym.
Fulton led 75-69 with 35 seconds left in the game. Nick Maglio’s put-back shot under the bucket cut the Maroons lead to 75-71. Seaton fouled two Maroons on consecutive possessions to put the shooter at the free=throw line, and the Fulton players missed all four attempts from the charity stripe.
In between, Landen Harison hit a clutch three-point shot for Seaton to make it 75-74 and then forward Lucien Desmazes was fouled on a shot attempt. He sunk both free throws to give the Sonics a 76-75 lead with eight seconds left.
Fulton got the ball into leading scorer Van Kozak in the paint and he was fouled on his shot attempt as the buzzer went, putting him at the line for two shots with no time left on the clock. Kozak missed the first – the fifth consecutive miss by a Maroons player – but hit the second to force overtime.
In the first overtime, Quinn Williamson scored his only basket of the game with 29 seconds left to give Fulton an 86-84 lead, but the Sonics tied the game on a basket by Desmazes.
Fulton scored the first six points of the second overtime to take a 92-86 lead, but Seaton got to within one at 92-91 before the Maroons went on an 11-3 run to put the game out of reach.
Kozak led all scorers with 38 points for Fiulton, Alan Bargaso had 25, Nathaniel Foster chipped in 22, including the dagger three-pointer late in the second overtime. Junior call-up Reyann Sidiqque had 17 including five shots from the parking lot.
Raynan Campbell led the Sonics with 24 points, Maglio had 23 and Elijah Burnham finished with 16.
Both team had punched their tickets to the Okanagan Senior Boys AA Basketball finals next week with wins Tuesday, and will be joined at the Valleys by Coldstream’s Kalamalka Lakers, 59-54 winners over the Pleasant Valley Saints of Armstrong in Wednesday’s third-place game.
The Maroons advanced with a 94-47 win over the Lakers Tuesday. Kozak led the winners with 25 points and 14 rebounds. Foster had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds, and added five blocked shots on defence. Bargaso had 12 points and seven assists for the Maroons.
Seaton advanced with a 65-52 win over the Pleasant Valley Saints of Armstrong (no scoring details reported).
SENIOR GIRLS AA
The Vernon Panthers host the Okanagan Valley AA Senior Girls Basketball Championships starting Thursday at the Panther Pit.
The Panthers won the North Zones this past weekend beating the Seaton Sonics in the finals. Pleasant Valley Sinners of Armstrong finished third, with all three teams making the Valley championships.
The matchups for Thursday will see the B.C. No. 6 AA-ranked Panthers playing the Norkam Saints of Kamloops at 2 p.m. B.C. honourable mention Valleyview Vikings of Kamloops will face Seaton at 3:45 p.m. The defending B.C. AA champion, and current No. 2-ranked South Kamloops Titans take on PVSS at 5:30 p.m. and the nightcap is an all-Kamloops battle between the Westsyde Whundas and Sa-Hali Sabres.
Games on Friday will begin at 3 p.m. with the semifinals at 6:30 and 8:15 p.m.
The championship game will be Saturday at 8:15 p.m.