Although playing without three of their top players, the Kelowna Christian School Knights still claimed top spot in a senior boys basketball tournament in Penticton on the weekend.
While Ryan Linttell, Connor Loewen and Drew Schulz were leading the KCS volleyball team to provincial gold at Kelowna Secondary School, eight members of the Knights' hoop squad won three straight games at Princess Margaret Secondary School, including at 72-56 victory over the Immaculata Mustangs in the final.
A balanced attack saw player-of-the-game Bryce Mathews score 16 points for the Knights in the final, while Ethan Klukas added 15 to go along with Jordan Hass's 14 and 10 by Daniel Seinen. The Mustangs received a 23-point effort from Alex Hart, while Michael Gini scored 11 and was named player of the game for his team.
The Knights earned a berth in the final by beating Elphinstone of Gibsons 62-39 in a game that saw five players reach double figures. Playing tough in the paint, 6-foot-5 Seinen received player-of-the-game honours.
In their tournament opener, KCS downed the Penticton Lakers 77-56, led by player-of-the-game Langlois, who netted 22 points. Klukas contributed 17.
Moving up to the 2A division this season after winning the 1A B.C. provincial title the past two years and four times in the past five, the Knights have a new coach in Eva Linttell, who takes over from four-time B.C. champion Gib Hinz, who now coaches the senior boys at Regina Christian School.
Linttell and the team is committed to playing about 40 games this season, compared to just 23 a year ago.
In pre-season B.C. High School Boys Basketball Association rankings, KCS was seeded at No. 10.
Meanwhile, Immaculata is ranked No. 2 in the 1A division following its bronze-medal finish at the provincial championship last March.
Led by Hart, a Canadian under-17 national team member, the Mustangs opened the tournament in Penticton by defeating L.V. Rogers of Nelson and host Princess Margaret 77-66 in overtime. Hart, a 6-foot-11 post, scored 58 points against L.V. Rogers and 56 against Princess Margaret.