In the end, Ladysmith managed to hang on to its status as the best AA high school boys basketball team in the north Island.
But that wasn’t enough to punch their ticket to the BC’s.
The host 49ers finished fifth as the Island championships wrapped up Saturday at the Ladysmith Secondary School gym, and the south Island demonstrated its dominance, claiming the top four spots and all three berths in the BC’s.
Ladysmith bounced back from a tight 73-67 loss to Parkland in its opening match by handling Kwalikum 80-54 in game two.
But their hoop dreams were foiled by another six-point loss in game three, this time 68-62 against Lambrick Park, which then went on to win the bronze medal game and with it, the last berth in the BCs.
Reece Melnick, Taka Osuna and Rocco Calabrese took turns being named Ladysmith’s player of the game, while Melnick was named to the tournament’s second all-star team.
Ian Grabher was tournament MVP as he led Mill Bay’s Brentwood to the championship, edging St. Michael’s of Victoria 72-70 in the final.
Meanwhile, Ladysmith’s junior boys team overcame a tough 64-15 opening loss to St. George’s at the provincials this weekend to finish with two wins and two losses at the tournament.
Ladysmith beat St. Thomas Aquinas 60-51 and G.W. Graham 57-55. They lost 50-49 to Sa-Hali.