The Huskies pulled off a thrilling last minute to win this year’s AAA title against the Vernon Panthers.
After 29 years without a title, the North Delta Huskies reign supreme in B.C.’s AAA high school basketball division following a win against the Vernon Panthers at the Langley Events Centre on March 9, 2019.
North Delta guard Suraj Gahir posted another stellar night with a game-high 18 points, but it was point guard Arun Atker who turned the game in the Huskies’ favour with a crucial three pointer with just over a minute to go in the last quarter against the Vernon Panthers. Gahir added a two more points with a lay-up and a free throw to give the Huskies a 46-44 victory over Vernon.
The teams went into half-time with low numbers and Vernon leading 22-19. North Delta made a paltry six of their 30 shots, setting the stage for another hard-fought second half.
Coming out of the locker room, Husky Jagraj Johal sank a three-pointer, followed by buckets by Gahir and Hayer to put North Delta eight points ahead at one point in the third. Gahir, who was later named tournament MVP, lit up the scoreboard in the third, scoring 10 of his 18 total points.
After the teams traded three-pointers at the end of the third and beginning of the fourth quarters, the Panthers tightened up their defense both in their half and on the attack. They boxed out their rivals several times, grabbing numerous offensive rebounds to get back into the game, while North Delta went almost half of the last quarter without scoring.
It was once again the final minute that had everyone on the edge of their seats, including a large throng of North Delta supporters who were banging on drums and metal lids in support of their team. Vernon led by four with 1:13 left on the clock, but Atker’s three cut that lead dramatically before Gahir sealed the win.
The Panthers had one last attempt at the buzzer, but the ball wouldn’t drop, which sent Huskies’ fans storming onto the court and mobbing their players in celebration.