Moscrop, Boucherie join final-four party
By Bob Carter
Moscrop and Mount Boucherie moved to a Friday night AAA semifinal matchup, joining Vancouver Island teams Dover Bay and Oak Bay.
Moscrop, the second seed, was pushed hard by Van Tech, a team the Panthers had beaten twice earlier, before prevailing 18-25, 25-23, 25-22, 23-25, 15-11.
A pulsating defence and power hitting Coltyn Liu kept Tech close all the way. The Talismen tied the match at 2-2 with a 25-23 fourth-set win and then jumped to a 6-3 lead in the deciding fifth, forcing a Moscrop timeout.
“We just wanted to set it up,” said coach David Tam. “We just wanted them to be relaxed and understand that it’s still a long game, to settle down and get mentally prepared again.”
The Panthers rallied to tie it at 10-10 and then Jerry Yan and setter Justin Yee took control.
Yee deftly dropped a reverse dump just inside the sideline, drawing some gasps from the crowd, to give Moscrop the lead. He followed with two perfect sets to Yan, who hammered winners from the left side on both for a 3-point margin, essentially sealing the victory.
Tam said he wasn’t surprised by how well Van Tech played. “They’re definitely one of the top defensive teams here,” he said.
Third-seeded Boucherie dropped the first set to Fraser Heights, 25-20, then won three straight, 25-12, 26-24, 27-25.
Bears coach Joel Kern said he was impressed by Fraser Heights’ play. “They’re a scrappy team. We didn’t allow ourselves to get frustrated by their defensive play.”
Kern said that middle Sean Haylow was a difference-maker. “He did a great job offensively, was a dominant force. He made our team less one-dimensional.”
Haylow’s play helped outside attackers Jeremy Bednar and Brodie Kern, the coach’s son.
“Jeremy had a very strong game,” the coach said. “We needed some energy, and he gave it to us.”
In the placement draw, Walnut Grove beat Riverside 22-15; Surrey Christian defeated Reynolds 25-20, 29-27; David Thompson rolled past Mount Baker 25-15, 25-13; and Delta got past Penticton 25-16, 25-23.
McMath beat Belmont in two and North Peace in three. North Peace earlier defeated Prince George in two.