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Duchess Park Condors take admirable flight to fourth place against higher-level B.C. schools

All Prince George AAA school’s games were up against AAAA teams at Langley tournament

A Prince George school was in a real David-versus-Goliath situation all weekend long while competing at a senior boys basketball tournament in Langley.

The Duchess Park Condors, a recognized AAA-level program, finished in fourth place among 24 teams at the 2019 Tsumura Basketball Invitational, but they had to face other schools in a higher-division to get to that result.

In fact, all four games the Condors played between Thursday (Dec. 5) and Saturday (Dec. 7) were against AAAA schools, including the number-one overall seed in Burnaby South.

“I think we showed some signs that we can be a contending team,” said Duchess Park Head Coach Jordan Yu to after his team fell to the Rebels by a score of 81-63 in the bronze-medal match and capping off the tourney with a 2-2 record.

“That was a really good team we were up against tonight in Burnaby South,” added Yu.

“I think we ran out of legs by end of tournament. We don’t see this kind of competition often. Playing just Quadruple-A teams, and good ones, too… I think it wore on us a bit. But no excuses. We need to be better conditioned.”

Of the Condors’ two victories at the three-day event, none was a bigger upset than their quarter-final contest against the Holy Cross Crusaders.

Despite giving up a 16-point lead in the fourth quarter, DPSS was able to run away with a 89-76 win to beat the fifth-ranked AAAA school in B.C. and punch a ticket to the final four.

They also scored 17 of the tilt’s final 20 points to secure the Friday morning victory (Dec. 6), thanks in part to Caleb Lyons’ team-high 23 points and Jackson Kuc’s 18 points, including nine in the final 10 minutes.

In the semis, the Prince George program met the eventual-champion Centennial Centaurs, ranked third in AAAA play, and were ousted 83-67, but hat tips went to Kuc (16 points), Lyons (14 points) and Connor Lewis (13 points) on the Condors’ offensive push.

Duchess Park opened the Tsumura Basketball Invitational with a 83-69 rout of the Walnut Grove Gators, an honourable mention in B.C.’s AAAA division prior to tip-off, with Lewis scoring a team-high 24 points.

The Condors were initially ranked third in B.C. senior boys AAA basketball ahead of the lower mainland event behind Vernon Secondary at the top and Sir Charles Tupper in second.

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