A two-handed jam by Montell Lindgren capped a dominant second half and a zone championship for the Duchess Park Condors.
Lindgren's dunk gave the Condors their final two points in a 69-53 victory against the D.P. Todd Trojans Saturday afternoon at Duchess Park. The senior boys basketball teams were playing in the final game of the north central zones, a qualifier for the double-A provincial tournament early next month in Kamloops.
The Grade 12 Lindgren, one of the best players in Canada in his age group, put the ball away with authority after a turnover by the Trojans. The airborne moment won't fade from his memory any time soon.
"Oh, it was satisfying, man," said Lindgren, a six-foot-three guard. "I could have just held the ball and wasted a little time but I needed to get one in just for the crowd and my friends. So I got a nice one."
The Trojans had a 31-30 lead at half-time but the Condors came out in the third quarter and took the game away from them. In those 10 minutes, they outscored D.P. Todd 22-9 by using a high-pressure, trapping defence. The Trojans had played earlier in the day and, with fatigue setting in, committed a string of turnovers that fueled the Duchess Park attack.
"We made some uncharacteristic passes," said Trojans coach Norm Garfield, whose squad beat the College Heights Cougars Saturday morning to earn a spot in the afternoon game. "I called a time-out half way through the third and said to the guys, 'This isn't the team that I've coached.' But when you're that tired you make mental errors. It's hard to watch and it's hard as a coach to stop them from doing that. But, it's a young group of kids and they've got another year ahead of them next year and lots to look forward to."
Lindgren finished with a game-high 26 points and teammate Luke Homes had 11. Raman Bhangu and Tanner Stephenson both scored 11 for D.P. Todd.
The Condors, by way of a fourth-quarter comeback, downed the Trojans 57-50 on Friday night and stepped straight into Saturday's final. In the double knockout tournament, a D.P. Todd victory over Duchess Park on Saturday would have necessitated another game on Sunday.
The Condors went 6-0 against the Trojans this season, including a 69-63 win in the recent city championship game.
Lindgren, who helped Team B.C. to a bronze medal at the Canada Basketball 17-and-under national tournament last summer, was chosen as the MVP of zones. Holmes, a Grade 12 point guard, got the nod as the top defensive player.
The Condors, seeded eighth in the most recent set of B.C. rankings, will now prepare themselves for the trip to Kamloops. The dates for provincials are March 6-9.
Last year, the Condors finished eighth at the 16-team B.C. tournament. This season, they have been ranked as high as third.
"I know most of the teams from playing on the provincial team the last couple years so I think we have a really, really good chance to make some noise down there," Lindgren said. "There are a couple real good teams but we can easily be a top-five team."