Ben Chessor
The Navigator

The PacWest championship game between the VIU Mariners and the Langara Falcons was a classic—both teams played great basketball until the final buzzer. Unfortunately for the Mariners, they couldn’t hold onto a fourth quarter lead against the top ranked Falcons and fell 90-84. 

The Falcons got off to a hot start early in the game, taking a 26-14 lead after the first quarter. Meanwhile, the Mariners were ice cold in the first quarter going 3-20 from the floor. But they found their game in the second quarter, cutting the Langara lead to 37-36 with two minutes left in the half. The Mariners took the lead 40-38 with ten seconds left in the half. Then, with three seconds left in the half, Liam Horne took an inbound pass and drilled a buzzer beater to put the Mariners up 43-38 heading into halftime.

Langara, led by point guard Brody Greig, battled back to tie the game early in the third quarter, but the Mariners refused to quit, capturing the momentum back from the Falcons and taking a 60-54 lead heading into the fourth and final quarter. Early in the fourth quarter, the Falcons got hot from the field, draining 22 points in the first two and a half minutes of the fourth to battle back and tie the game 67-67. The Falcons didn’t stop there as they continued their torrid shooting, taking an eight point lead with four minutes left to play, 79-71. The Mariners tried to battle back in the game’s final minutes, but they couldn’t get their shots to fall as Langara defeated the Mariners in the PacWest championship game 90-84.

The Mariners punched their ticket to the championship game by beating Quest University in the semifinal. The game was close early, with the Mariners holding a 21-18 lead after the first quarter. The two teams tied the second quarter, and the Mariners led 44-41 at halftime. In the third quarter, the Mariners started to pull away, outscoring Quest 26-10 in the quarter to lead 70-51. Quest was unable to mount a comeback in the fourth quarter, and the Mariners walked off the court with a 90-74 victory. Brandon Jones was named player of the game for the Mariners, registering 21 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

The Mariners finished the regular season with a record of 16-5, good for a tie for second with Quest University, but the Mariners were awarded second place for winning two of their three games against Quest this season. Meanwhile, Langara won their second straight provincial championship; the Falcons finished the season with a combined record of 23-1. The Mariners finished as PacWest silver medalists for the second straight season.

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