Athletics Review: December 8, 2008

Senior Girls Basketball
The Senior girls basketball team looked to improve on their 2-1 record with two more games this week. The Blue Jags opened league play on Thursday night against PCS. Shelby Boehm impressed with her rebounding tenacity, finishing with a double-double (16 pts and 11 rebounds) and Katherine “Kapono” Kohler was hot from the wing spot. PCS sat in a 3-2 zone most of the night, so SMUS was forced to be patient on offense and work the ball around the perimeter. The team showed good poise under the control of point guards, Ciara Glen and Rachel Davel. All players made solid contributions and demonstrated some fine play in the 56-22 win.

On Saturday, the team hosted Crofton House in exhibition play. Facing an athletic and unorthodox squad, the Blue Jags found themselves reeling after the first half – down 3 pts. Fortunately, SMUS refocused for the second half, holding Crofton to just 14 points. Finally, SMUS executed their offensive game plan, getting cuts and making passes for some easy layups, to take the victory 57-47. Sydney Stockus led all SMUS scorers with 12 pts, Lauren Kipp chipped in with 11 pts and 6 boards and Ciara Glen added 10 pts. SMUS witnessed a strong performance down low by Shelby Boehm who had 9 pts and 18 boards and Jasmine Yan contributed with 8 pts and 7 boards.

These two wins bump the Jags to a 4-1 record with two more league games to play this week.

Grade 9 Boys Basketball
The Grade 9 boys basketball team opened with a pair of exhibition games against Southgate. In the first encounter, both teams showed offensive panache.

Joe Erlic and Liam MacLure brought SMUS 47 points, making a huge contribution to the 81-67 win. Wing Derek Hyde-Lay displayed an assured shooting touch, while guard Alex Davies defended well. The fifth starter, Lewis Liu, made a number of solid all-round plays, while Johnny Huang was eye-catching when on the court.

The rematch was also hotly contested. Southgate made a number of good adjustments in guarding the pick and roll, while SMUS did not shoot as well. Fortunately, better defence proved vital, and SMUS prevailed 50-29. MacLure took 21 points and added 15 rebounds, while Erlic chipped in with 14 points and 8 helpers. Reserve post Roger Luo showed flashes of inspiration, as did newcomer Santiago Vallarta.

The team opens league play on December 9 and 11, playing against Spencer and St. Andrews. Following that, the Burnaby South Invitational tournament event beckons with a tough opening round matchup against Vancouver College.

Junior Boys Basketball
This weekend’s tournament brought much growth to the Junior boys squad. The boys made quick work of a weak Esquimalt team in the opening game. In a performance that saw every player make a significant contribution, the team pushed the ball hard in transition and eventually finished with a 76-30 win. Mitch Wiggins was outstanding offensively and Mason Chou stood-out on the defensive end.

The next game brought SMUS up against the #2 provincially ranked Vancouver College Fighting Irish. The boys were outmatched against a much bigger and more polished team. After the Irish jumped out to a 12 point lead off the opening tip, the boys played with grit and stayed in the game until the last quarter, eventually losing by 25 points. A promising result which shows the team can hold their own against any team from BC.

In the 3rd/4th place game, the boys took on Dover Bay. The team seemed flat after a tough loss in the morning and were soon down by as many as 18 points. In the fourth quarter, the full-court press led a spirited comeback. Mitch Wiggins hit a couple of clutch shots late in the fourth to bring the team within one point. With 10 seconds left, a crucial defensive stop led to Wiggins beating three defenders up the court, and an open shot from just inside the arc. With two seconds left, the shot hit the back of the rim and the boys lost a heart-breaker.

The 4th place finish and an opening league win on Wednesday over Reynolds (64-29) show that SMUS has a promising season ahead.

Grade 9 Girls Basketball
In pre-season action, the Grade 9 girls basketball team finished in 4th place at the Dover Bay Basketball Tournament. On Friday, they split their first two contests. After losing a close battle in their first game against Cedar Community Secondary School Junior team 54-46, they rebounded with a dominant performance against the host school, Dover Bay, by a score of 50-11.

Saturday, they faced Nanaimo District Secondary School and took an early lead. After a rocky start in the 3rd quarter, they regrouped and took control in the 4th, securing an 8-point victory, 31-23. Offensive contributions were provided by Isailah Johnson-Ferguson, Madison Hadfield and Ali Pollen. Overall, the tournament gave the team a chance to come together on defence. 

Junior Girls Basketball
Wednesday marked the regular season league opener for our hard-working Junior A girls basketball squad. The girls shook off the nerves in the first quarter and battled back from 8 points down to even up Reynolds at halftime. In the second half, the girls were diving for loose balls, battling on the boards and playing hard-nosed, old fashioned defence. In the end, the SMUS girls pulled out a 30-23 victory. Annie Pike led the team in scoring with 12 points, Cliona Quail-Bradley and Montana Sawyer chipped in with 5 points apiece. Sophie Yeates and Hannah Furness worked on the rebounding end creating second shot opportunities. Sophie Yeates ended the game with 10 rebounds and Hannah Furness chipped in with 6 rebounds.

A little deja vu happened on Saturday when the SMUS Junior girls had an exhibition game against Crofton House from Vancouver. Down to just seven players for the game, SMUS coach Murray Gartly had to improvise. With three girls were out with injuries, one out to an illness and one out of town, the team called redshirt Chloe Carlson to round out the team. The team played tough against a very aggressive Crofton group, but lost 32-22. Cliona Quail-Bradley and Montana Sawyer each scored 8 points and Hannah Furness chipped in with 6 points.

The girls will be back on the court for league play on Monday against Claremont at SMUS at 4:15pm.

Junior Varsity Basketball
The SMUS Senior boys JV basketball team ran themselves to a 30-point margin of victory on Thursday night over local opponent St. Andrews. Forwards Ryan Mitchell-Halter and Craig Kuang slashed to the hoop repeatedly to put up some big offensive numbers and led the charge offensively. Cologne Chang was a beast, muscling his way to the hoop to lead the team in points inside the paint. With an imposing zone defence centred in the back by Paul “The Presence” Loeffler, the team was able to hold their opponent’s offense to a mere 40 points. Anchored by solid guard play by Shun Kinoshita and Hisham Ismail, as well as penetrating transition by Chuck “Hoop Luck” Southwell, the team is looking forward to their game vs. Victor Brodeur on Tuesday night.

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