Dontae Bull scored 28 points and Nishad Tarak and Nathan Johal added 16 each to lead the host Belmont Bulldogs to a 90-81 victory over Dover Bay Dolphins in Friday’s Vancouver Island AAAA high school boys basketball semifinals in Langford.
The Bulldogs gained a showdown against city league champion and B.C. #3-ranked Oak Bay Bays in tonight’s (Feb. 25, 8 p.m.) final. The Bays doubled Cowichan 96-48 in the earlier semifinal.
After a fast start that saw them jump put to a 20-8 lead, the Bulldogs had their hands full with Dover Bay, who fought back to make it 46-42 at halftime and pull ahead 68-66 with five minutes to play in the fourth quarter.
Bull pulled down his own offensive rebound to score his third basket in a row to make it 72-70 with 3:16 to play, which put the Bulldogs ahead for good.
A crucial three-pointer by Johal and steely-eyed foul shooting by Julius Kennedy – he drained six straight shots in the final minute and eight in the final 2:31 – with the Bulldogs in bonus foul situation put the game away. Kennedy finished with 11 points on the night.
Ryan Humphreys led the Dolphins with 27 points, while teammate Jordan Gladstone had 21.
The loss put Dover Bay into the three-game round robin to determine the third-place finisher at the tournament. That team can challenge the finals loser for the second Island berth into provincials if they haven’t already played this weekend.
Claremont, who won a play-in game to get into the Islands, beat Cowichan 60-54 in game 1 of the round robin Saturday morning, reversing the teams’ results from Thursday. Claremont and Dover Bay were scheduled to play today at 1:45 p.m., then Cowichan and Dover Bay meet at 6 p.m. before the final.
The challenge game would happen next Tuesday (Feb. 28) at the home of the second-place finisher.