The Delta Pacers got their hands back on the Stebbings/Murray Cup Friday night after a game that might have been better suited in a hockey rink against their cross-town rival.
The Pacers used a productive third quarter en route to a 64-51 over the South Delta Sun Devils in front of a capacity crowd at SDSS.
The teams combined for a whopping 56 fouls as the energy and animosity from the stands seemed to spill onto the floor. It also nearly led to punches flying midway through the opening quarter that resulted in the ejection of Pacer standout Kavin Bhandal.
Even without their leading scorer, Delta found a way to get it done in a game that was far removed from last year’s high-scoring affair that saw the teams combine for 186 points. They pounded the ball inside, getting 13 points from Ajvir Hothi while follow senior Jared Romaniuk add a game-high 18.
The Sun Devils seemed to be in good shape to retain the cup, trailing by seven points at the half and knowing they didn’t have to worry about Bhandal. However, they were outscored 23-10 in the third quarter and it was simply too big of hole to climb out of for a team that struggles for consistency from the perimeter.
Simon Raderecht led the Sun Devils with 14 points. Julio Ruddle-Webb and Declan Forbes added nine each. The good news moving forward for head coach and DSS grad Rod Salas is his roster features just one player in Grade 12.
South Delta now turns its attention to the Fraser Valley AAAA Southwest League playoffs starting Tuesday at Tamanawis Secondary. The sixth place Devils will take on third place Seaquam.
Meanwhile, the Pacers will take a perfect 5-0 record into the teeth of their Fraser Valley West AAA schedule with a home game next Thursday against Clayton Heights. The No. 7 ranked school upset No. 1 ranked North Delta 88-74 on Tuesday.
Delta also travels north to take on the Huskies on Feb. 12. Then are up against on another unbeaten team — Brookswood — in its final regular season game.