Athletics Review: February 08, 2009

Senior Boys Basketball
The Senior boys had several games, including the start of their city playoffs. On Tuesday, the boys faced Edward Milne. SMUS jumped out to an early lead and eventually went on a 34-0 run against the visitors from Sooke. All players saw considerable floor time. Player of the game was Marc van der Wal, who ran the point position beautifully, while knocking down several deep three-point shots.

Thursday evening, the boys hosted AE Peacock from Moose Jaw, in what was a tight match from the jump ball to the final whistle. AE Peacock started hot out of the gates, knocking down open jump-shots and feeding their big man for easy lay-ups. After some defensive adjustments, the SMUS boys clawed their way back, and eventually took an 8-point lead in the third quarter. Throughout the final frame, the lead went back and forth, until the score 61 on both sides with twenty seconds to play. Unfortunately, SMUS fouled on a jumpshot and the Peacock shooter knocked down both free throws. Unable to convert on the next possession, SMUS was forced to foul, and lost the game 66-61.

Senior Girls Basketball
The Senior girls basketball team had one final tuneup before playoffs with the Stellys Invitational Tournament this past weekend. Missing a few players to injury, the squad was short-staffed in the opening games against Dover Bay (a loss 37-59) and to NDSS (a loss 48-54). However, they managed a convincing win on Saturday over Cowichan, 57-35. Grade 10 stand-out Annie Pike, who has joined the team now that the junior season has finished, was the team’s leading scorer with 20 points and 7 rebounds. Lauren Kipp added 11 points and Jasmine Yan chipped in with 9 points.

The team will battle Lambrick Park in the final league tilt of the season for first place in the Lower Island League on Thursday, Febuary 12 at 4 pm, at Lambrick.

Grade 9 Boys Basketball
The Grade 9 boys basketball team moved to 8-0 in league play, coming through down the stretch against both GNS and Dunsmuir to record narrow road wins.

Against an athletic and well-organized GNS outfit, SMUS was unable to extend any of three different six-point leads, as the Gryphons recovered well each time and finally closed to 36-35 with two minutes to play. However, a Joe Erlic three-pointer and some key free throws from Derek Hyde-Lay and Liam MacLure were enough to secure a 44-38 win.

Against Dunsmuir, the team recovered from an early 10-2 deficit to lead most of the way by four to six points. However, a late home run tied the score at 52 before Erlic scored the winning points on two foul shots with six seconds left to play. Alex Davies, in a new lead guard role, led all scorers with 14 points, while Roger Luo, Len Luo, Aaron Samson, Peter Harrison, and Charles Yang all took advantage of increased floor time.

Next up for the team is a February 10 game at Claremont, with the winner securing number one seeding in the City Tournament. The group also looks forward to what should be a highly competitive Island Tournament, to be held at SMUS on February 20-21.

Grade 9 Girls Basketball
The Grade 9 girls basketball team had a relatively quiet week, with only one league game against Glenlyon Norfolk School. Both squads were depleted, with only six and seven girls aside. SMUS had to find different ways to distribute the ball and spread out the scoring. The Blue Jags came out running in the first half, opening up a sizable lead. Nicole Chan’s quick hands created many GNS turnovers and she contributed 8 points. Sara Taylor cleaned up the boards resulting in 10 points off putbacks. The final score was 50-12 in favour of SMUS.

Badminton
The Senior badminton team has two critical league games last week against powerhouses Oak Bay and Claremont. With much practice under the team’s belt, the team was eager to impress.

In the tilt versus Oak Bay, it was evident that SMUS had their game in top form, as Oak Bay went down by a score of 11-0. Young Ethan Lee and Joe Ekthumrong played especially well on the boys’ side, while Sylvia Ho and Monica Lee had their positioning in place for the girls. This win would set the stage for what was to be an epic final league game versus Claremont. With both SMUS and Claremont riding undefeated streaks, only the strongest would survive as these two badminton machines collided.

In the early going, it was anyone’s guess as to who would be victorious. Both teams played with tenacity and determination and it was only a close 22-20 game won by Carol Ng and Helen Ip that seemed to turn the tide in SMUS’ favour. This close win was followed up by another close win by Michael Ip and Robbie Thomas. This would seal the deal as SMUS pulled off the huge 6-5 win.

The SMUS team now holds the number one seed heading into this week’s Island Championships. The Islands take place this Thursday at SMUS, beginning at 1 pm. The winner from this tournament will earn a berth to the Provincial Championships.

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