Atheltics Review: January 18, 2009

Junior Girls Capture First Tournament Title
In league play Monday, the SMUS Junior girls basketball team battled relentlessly on the defensive side. However, their shots just would not fall and they lost a close game to Mount Doug 26-20. Annie Pike led scorers with 6 points and Sophie Yeates grabbed 12 rebounds.

On Wednesday, the Junior girls started off strong on the offensive side hitting shots from all over the court. But, for the second straight game, the shots in the second half were not dropping for the Blue Jags. In the end, they fell to Parkland 41-25. Sophie Yeates was the leading scorer with 8 points and 10 rebounds. Annie Pike contributed with 6 points.

Over the weekend, the team travelled to the Cedar Tournament in Nanaimo. They were determined and focused on bringing some hardware home. They did just that – capturing first place at the tournament! On Friday afternoon, they faced Ballenas, a talented team with some good athletes. Throughout the entire game, SMUS faced intense pressure but stayed calm and executed on the offensive side.

In the end, it was the defence that created a victory for the girls. The final score, was 39-35 in favour of SMUS. Sophie Yeates led the way with 13 points and had a monster game on the boards collecting 17 rebounds. Annie Pike scored 10 points and Cliona Quail-Bradley chipped in with 9 points.

In the second game, the team was up against Wellington. The girls exploded right from the start and never trailed the game winning 48-29. SMUS had four girls scoring in double figures. Annie Pike led all scorers with 14 points and adding four assists. Cliona Quail-Bradley added 12 points, Montana Sawyer had 11 points and Sophie Yeates contributed 10 points and 12 rebounds.

In the tournament final, the girls exploded at the start again and didn’t look back, defeating Robert Bateman of Abbotsford, 33-23. Cliona Quail-Bradley led the team with 10 points, followed by Annie Pike with 9 points. The rebounding effort of the posts was huge in the victory. Sophie Yeates led the charge with 11 rebounds, Montana Sawyer and Hannah Furness each had 7, and Mary Fry collected 6 rebounds.

Senior Boys Basketball
After losing a hard fought league game Tuesday night against rival Esquimalt, the Senior boys basketball team regrouped for the annual Victoria Police tournament which ran over the weekend at SMUS. The tournament drew a quality field of both AA and AAA boys and girls contenders, and the Senior boys knew they would have to play well to be successful.

In their first game, the boys played Spectrum, and in what was an ugly affair the boys ran away with the game, scoring early and often in a 30-point hammering. The forward combo of Francis Quinlan and Tom Bridger did a fantastic job containing the dangerous Spectrum forwards.

The second game was a showdown once again against Esquimalt, and in a game the boys were obviously fired up for, SMUS shocked the top-ten team, winning in a defensive battle 57-52. Both Tim Wu and Jure Erlic provided the offensive spark down the stretch to secure the win.

In the semi-finals against perennial powerhouse Oak Bay, the boys started off slow but came out gunning in the second half. Three-point baskets fell early and often as SMUS pulled to within three points with a minute remaining. A Blue Jags turnover forced the boys to foul, and they didn’t quite finish the comeback, losing by a margin of only five points.

The loss to Oak Bay put the team in the 3rd/4th game against a hungry Windsor team of North Vancouver, who defeated the Blue Jags. A fourth place finish at the Police Tournament is a huge accomplishment for the team. A special congratulations to Jure Erlic, who was named to the tournament’s All-Star Team. All in all it was a great result from the boys and a sign of great things to come.

Grade 9 Boys Basketball
The Grade 9 boys basketball team remained undefeated in league play this week, following a 50-43 win over Vic High. A compact Totems 2-3 zone, allied to a playing surface covered with 50 years of dust buildup, did not allow for much flow in the game, and it was not until well into the second half that SMUS broke the game open.

Johnathon Sipos, with 4 points and 6 rebounds in an effective cameo off the bench, performed well, while three straight Derek Hyde-Lay jumpers late in the third quarter made safe what at the time was only an eight point lead. Reserve post Peter Harrison earned his court time with a bustling effort.

The team now enters the busiest week of the season, with league games at Edward Milne, a home game against Parkland, and an exhibition game against Mt. Douglas. Following this, the players can look forward to competing in the prestigious Hugh Boys Invitational in Richmond, in what will be a major examination for the entire group. Perennial BC contender Pitt Meadows will provide the first game for the SMUS team.

Senior Girls Basketball
The Senior girls were hoping for big things this past week as they geared up for the Victoria Police Tournament. In league action, SMUS defeated Esquimalt 50-35 before losing to Moscrop of Burnaby 61-44.

The team rebounded the next day in a game against Ladysmith, working hard to secure a 68-27 win. Shelby Boehm led all scorers with 15 pts, Ceilidh MacLeod chipped in with 9 pts and Lauren Kipp added 8 pts. In an early Saturday morning game, SMUS faced a battered Vanier squad. They made quick work of the opposition getting out to a 21-0 start. SMUS went on to easily win with a final score of 50-19. Defensive stopper, Ceilidh MacLeod netted 10 points, Shelby Boehm finished with 20 pts and Sydney Stockus added 10 pts.

Two wins in a row put the Blue Jags into the consolation final against Carihi. This was an important AA matchup, as SMUS will likely face Carihi in the Island Tournament. After a closely contended first half, the Blue Jags gave up an 8-point lead in the 4th quarter to lose the game 48-47. Shelby Boehm was named to the tournament’s all-star team.

Next week’s important league game is against Lambrick Park.

Junior Boys Basketball
It was a good week for the boys, starting off with a very competitive game against an athletic Mount Douglas squad. This game was back and forth, but a Mt. Doug 3-pointer with less than a minute left cemented a 6-point loss for the Blue Jags. On Wednesday, SMUS played Esquimalt at home. After a slow first half, the team was able to open the game up and eventually recorded a 60-35 victory over the Esquimalt team.

The weekend brought the ISA championships at St. George’s School. SMUS started the tournament off with a convincing 30 point win over a very small West Point Gray team. Game two saw the Blue Jags cruise past St. Johns with a 31-point victory. Brian Christensen was player of the game with a huge offensive effort.

Then, the boys faced St. George’s in the championship game. The team put forth a courageous effort and hung around until the fourth quarter, where St. George’s pulled away, and eventually won by 15 points. Of special note was Mike Shaw and Brian Christensen’s tough defence against St. George’s provincial team post.

A second place finish was commendable and will hopefully serve as a confidence boost as the team heads into the home stretch of the season. Mitch Wiggins and Connor Eden were named to the tournament’s all-star team.

Grade 9 Girls Basketball
It was a busy week for the Grade 9 girls. First up was an away game at Vic High that finished with a 41-17 result in favour of SMUS. The girls started out by running the floor and did not stop until the final buzzer.

An early wake-up on Friday morning and a fogged-in ferry ride brought the girls to the GW Graham tournament in Chilliwack. The girls played a solid three quarters of basketball against Yale before their opposition broke the game open in the last few minutes for a final score of 44-29 for Yale.

After a little rest, SMUS returned to action at 5:30 pm vs. Elphinstone. A solid effort from Isailah Johnson-Ferguson and Sara Taylor kept SMUS in the game and Madison “MJ” Hadfield dropped a 3-pointer at the buzzer to take the game to overtime. In the extra frame, SMUS got ahead and, with a solid effort on the defensive end, pulled off a 51-48 victory.

Saturday’s game against Hope started off slow, but soon got physical, but SMUS kept their cool against their taller opponents. After Hope threw in a press and 2-3 zone, the girls spread out the floor, remained patient and got quality looks. The rebounding efforts of Ali Pollen, Nicole Chan, and Alice Wang from the perimeter kept the momentum on SMUS side as they went on to win 32-29 win.

Standouts from the tournament were Isailah Johnson-Ferguson with 20+ points per game and Madison Hadfield whose clutch 3-pointerss kept us in contention. Well done team and congratulations on the 3rd place finish.

Rugby News
Three recent grads, Jesse Kliman ’07, Sam Skulsky ’08 and Andrew Crow ’08, have been named to a 30-man Canada U20 rugby squad that will tour New Zealand from March 1-15. Games against provincial U20 selections from Wellington, Taranaki and Hawkes Bay will be an integral part of the national team’s preparation for the age grade Rugby World Cup, to be held in Japan this coming June.

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