North Vancouver’s Handsworth Secondary School Royals claimed their fifth championship at the Bedford Road Invitational Tournament (BRIT) in 15 years, winning the 52nd edition of the classic 66-61 over the Raymond High School Comets.
The Royals have enjoyed a dominant run at BRIT, winning it all in five of their six appearances.
“We’ve just had a lot of wonderful challenges but we just seem to be lucky when we’re here,” head coach Randy Storey said.
This year’s victory had even more meaning for Handsworth, as the win means they’ve etched their names into the BRIT record books by tying Regina’s Sheldon Williams as the school with the most tournament wins.
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“I’m just thankful for this opportunity. These kids are super dedicated, the kids work hard, they’re just good basketball players that maybe make me look like a good coach, and they represent our school really well,” Storey said.
“It’s really good for our school,” added tournament MVP Marko Stojslavevic. “It’s really good for our team, and yeah, hopefully we can win it again.”
“There’s no words to describe it,” said tournament all-star Matthys Van Bylandt. “I just… I love it so much, I’m so passionate for this, there’s no place I’d rather be than here right now.”
The win was Storey’s fourth as Royals coach, and he knows from personal experience the lasting impact it will have on his players.
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“Every now and then I think about it and I just have a certain level of pride of the accomplishment of winning such a prestigious, Canadiana tournament,” he said.
Van Bylandt, who is in Grade 10 and the team’s youngest player, has ambitions of returning to BRIT before he graduates to add to Handsworth’s legacy at the fabled tournament.
“The next two years, I’m here for awhile still, you know. I want to be back here,” he said. “It means we’ve got to get six; we’ve got to break the record.”