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Nanaimo powerhouse ends North Delta's run at provincials

The Huskies will finish their fine season today by placing no worse than fourth in 16-team tournament at the Langley Events Centre

About the best news for the North Delta Huskies on Friday is knowing they won’t see Luke Linder again.

The 6-foot-4 Grade 12 scoring machine put on another shooting show to lead the Dover Bay Dolphins to a 91-59 win over the Huskies in semi-final action at the B.C. AAA Boys Basketball Championships.

Linder, who will be taking his career to Vancouver Island University next fall, finished with 42 points after pouring in 49 a day earlier in a quarter-final win against MEI.

He scored 20 of the Dolphins’ 26 first quarter points as the Nanaimo school quickly showed the crowd at the Langley Events Centre’s Arena Bowl why it has been ranked no worse than No. 2 in the province all season.

Linder not only drained five, three-pointers in the opening 10 minutes, he torched the Huskies in the paint throughout the afternoon with an extended pull-up jumper that nearly was impossible to stop.

Dover Bay presented match-up problems all over the floor with size and length the No. 6 Huskies simply did not see during their impressive month-long playoff run to the South Fraser Championship and earlier provincial tournament wins over Alberni and College Heights.

The Dolphins’ starting point guard happens to be Linder’s 6-foot-5 Grade 10 brother Frank who chipped in with 13 points and nearly finished with a triple-double.

North Delta’s usually very effective zone defence, that was routinely holding opponents under 60 points, didn’t have an answer.

It was the sizzling first half shooting of Harvir Hothi that kept the Huskies close at one point. The Grade 11 standout was the only player on his team to hit for double figures with 26 points that included six, three-pointers in the opening half.

The Huskies trailed 26-16 after the first quarter and twice closed the deficit to single digits (33-26 and 42-36) in the second with long-range perimeter shooting being the only answer against Dover Bay’s size advantage.

The Vancouver Island champions promptly put the game out of reach with a 12-4 run to open the third quarter led by Linder. He finished the game hitting 16 of 28 shots including eight for 12 from beyond the three-point arc.

With primarily a Grade 11 line-up, the Huskies conclude their fine season today (Saturday) against Lord Byng and will finish no worse than fourth in the 16-team event.

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