The Senior Badminton team returned home last weekend after finishing in eighth place at the BC High School Provincial Championships. The tournament featured 16 of the best teams in the province and is the highest level of play attainable to high school players.
On the first day, the SMUS team was involved in three pool games. In the first game, the team breezed by Mt. Baker (Cranbrook) by a score of 8-3. In the second game, the team beat Alpha (Surrey), again by a score of 8-3. In the final game of the day, the team played last year’s Provincial Champions, Eric Hamber School and lost by the same score of 8-3. The superb play on day one by the SMUS team guaranteed them a top eight finish. Exceptional players on the first day included Jeti Sawadtipong, Michael Ip, Britt Martin and Helen Ip.
SMUS then had the task of taking on the number three seed J.N. Burnett (Richmond). SMUS could not carry the momentum they had on the first day and were simply out-matched by the more skilful Richmond team, losing by a score of 9-2. In the second game of the day, we did not have any luck as Richmond High School beat us by another 9-2 score.
In the final day of competition, SMUS played with a renewed effort and played their best game of the year against Moscrop (Burnaby). In the closest match of the year, the game came down to one boys doubles game, featuring Michael Ip and Robbie Thomas. Michael and Robbie came back and had the game within one but could not finish it off. The SMUS team went down by the closest of margins, a 6-5 score. However, the team was not discouraged because they knew they had played brilliantly. Ross Prager and Candice Ip were particularly strong on the day.
The efforts of the team earned themselves an eighth place finish at the provincials. At the awards ceremony, the SMUS team was very surprised to hear that they had also won the Rich Best Sportsmanship Award (voted as the winners by the other schools). The team was absolutely superb in every way. A huge thank you goes out to all the players and also to Frank and Sylvia Ip, who accompanied the team to Prince George.
Grade 9 Girls Basketball
The Grade 9 Girls Basketball team was in Coquitlam last week at Provincials. Due to a conflict with the musical, coach Ms. Farish could not join the team, so guest coach Ms. Dani Everitt was called in. Prior to the tournament, the team was surprised to learn that they had been seeded number five team.
Round one of the tournament had the SMUS Blue Jags facing the number 13 seed, Centennial. In the end, overtime was needed and the Centennial team hit some clutch jump shots to wrench away the victory from the SMUS girls. This loss put the girls into the consolation round of the tournament, with a game against Hugh Boyd School. In the game, it was another loss for the SMUS team.
The final two games proved better for the young team. The SMUS girls went on to beat Gleneagle and then defeated Prince of Wales in the final game. Overall, it was a 14th place finish. Congratulations to the girls on taking the season as far as you could!
Staff Selects vs. Senior Boys Basketball
In round number two of the staff/student challenge, the Senior Boys Basketball team had intentions of taking the staff team apart. In the early parts of the game, the staff struggled to find any kind of offensive plays, with the exception of Reagan ‘The Legend’ Daly hitting the occasional three-point ball. The pace was furious and it became obvious that the Senior Boys’ plan was to run down the much older teaching staff. After the first quarter, the Sr. Boys had the slight edge and were up by one. In the second quarter Riley Gudgeon and Bryan Sun continued to coast right in to the hoop uncontested. At the half, the Senior Boys had the game in full control and were up by eight points.
The third quarter proved no different. Although some stingy defence was being shown at times (especially by newcomer, Steve ‘Count me in’ Bates), the staff team could not cut into the students’ lead. The third quarter would prove to be a good one for Mat ‘Trifecta’ Geddes, and Keith ‘The Dream’ Driscoll, but again, the rebounding seemed to be a problem.
In the beginning of the fourth quarter, big ‘Diesel’ Primrose stepped it up on the defensive front, not allowing the Senior Boys anything on the inside. The Senior Boys resorted to distant threes for the remainder of the quarter. On the offensive front, it was Cheryl ‘The Boss’ Murtland who laser-beamed in a 10 footer. “This was a huge shot; it changed the tide of the game completely”, Daly said after the game. The staff went on a 12-2 run midway through the final quarter, with big baskets from various staff members. With one minute remaining, it was Daly who dropped yet another three-pointer. In a post game interview, Mat ‘Trifecta’ Geddes made the following statement: “To say this is a huge win would be an understatement. I do not think a staff basketball team has ever beaten the basketball team, yet alone the Senior Boys team.” Captain Riley Gudgeon on the other hand said this: “I am stunned. I don’t know what to say. It was the Reagan Daly show all game long.” But one person was not surprised by the result. General Manager Lindsay Brooke has been very busy behind the scenes assembling a staff dream team. Steve Bates, Reagan Daly and recent call-up Keith Driscoll were no doubt, a big part of the win. Daly ended up with 29 points, nearly half of the staff’s points.
Round three of the Staff/Student challenge will take place in May when the teams will play soccer or softball.
Grade 9 Boys Basketball
The Grade 9 boys finished their season by competing in the Island Championships two weeks ago. The first game saw them against a very big Ballenas squad. As the regulation time expired, the boys maintained a tie, sending things into overtime. In the extra period, the boys were unable to advance and lost by four points. In the game against Aspen Park, they lost. One positive that came from this unfortunate loss was the large amount of playing time experienced by all players.