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Haida Gwaii's inspirational Saints

Duncan Rumak  of the Queen Charlotte Saints drives the lane in an 80-56 opening game loss to Langley’s Walnut Grove.  - Contributed photo
Duncan Rumak of the Queen Charlotte Saints drives the lane in an 80-56 opening game loss to Langley’s Walnut Grove.
— image credit: Contributed photo

The Queen Charlotte Secondary School Saints may have won just one game at the highest level of provincial high school basketball championships, but that wasn't the whole story.

The Saints captured national media attention and the hearts of the Langley Events Centre.

And there's one more thing, they broke one of the longest-standing records in provincial basketball.

Grade 12 player Nate Vogstad utterly smashed a record that has stood for 49 years by scoring 75 points in a single game, obliterating the 1965 record of 58.

"It feels pretty good. I don't think anyone's going to touch that record for awhile," said Vogstad.

"[Head coach Desi Collinson]was begging me to shoot every time. You could tell he wanted me to break the record just as much as I did."

Vogstad's remarkable run came in a 122-43, also a record for most points scored by a team, win over Mt. Baker Wild.

Queen Charlotte was also named the Most Inspirational Team, with Vogstad being selected as the Most Inspirational Player.

Despite the record-breaking performance, Vogstad later said the team result was a bit disappointing.

"A few of us got caught in the hype of the other teams," said Vogstad.

"We played the defending champions first, so a bunch of the guys were nervous when we first got in there. That led to a slow start in our game. We tried to do our best, and I think in the end we played with a lot of heart after everyone got over the nerves."

The Saints entered the tournament with a record of 14-2 in tournaments and exhibition games they travelled around B.C. to play in, earning a spot in AAAA provincials against the top teams from some of the province's largest high schools.

The Saints opened the AAAA championships against the defending champions from Walnut Grove of Langley who came out strong, leading 35-25 at the end of the second quarter. In the second half the Saints went on an 8-1 run to start, pulling to within three, but Walnut Grove proved to be too much and would win the game by a final of 80-56. Vogstad led all players on the court with 25 points.

The Saints tipped off on Thursday against 12th-seeded West Vancouver and were again close in the early going, trailing 39-33 by the half mark. But the team struggled in the second half and were outscored by 18 in the final frame, dropping the game 83-66. Vogstad again led all scorers with 29 points, while Jesse Barnes finished with 22.

After Vogstad's heroics in the win over Mt. Baker Wild, the Saints faced-off against 14th-seeded Pitt Meadows Secondary to battle it out for ninth place on Saturday afternoon.

The Pitt Meadows Marauders maintained a lead throughout the entire game, ending the first quarter with 30-16. But the Saints began closing the points lead with 39-48 by the end of the second, and got as close as 65-69 by the conclusion of the third.

Queen Charlotte couldn't keep up to Pitt Meadow in the final quarter and lost the game 77-92, with Vogstad hitting for just more than half of the Saints' points.

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