Athletics Review: February 15, 2009

Senior Badminton Team wins Island Championship
SMUS hosted the Island Championships last Thursday. Our Senior badminton team went in as the #1 seed, since they’ve been undefeated in league play. The team first took on St. Andrew’s, the #4 seed. From the start, it was evident that SMUS was the better team. In a span of 25 minutes, the overall result had already been determined. Both Stacie Hoi and Becky Thomas looked great for the girls, while Edmond Yiu and Ethan Lee were also on form. In the end, it was a 10-1 win for the Jags.

In the final, it was anyone’s guess as to how Claremont would strategize their line-up. However, when the line-ups were revealed, both Claremont and SMUS had chosen to stick with the same strategy as their previous league battle. This match had ended 6-5 for SMUS, in the closest of margins. In the early going, things did not look good for the Jags, as they dropped the first four games.

However, the boys’ team of Michael Ip and Robbie Thomas put their rally caps on, and somehow came back to win their match. This win seemed to inspire the rest of the team, and the girls’ team of Carol Ng and Helen Ip rode this wave of momentum and snuck in another close win (22-20). After three sure wins in the singles’ domain by Ross Prager and Candice Ip, the Jags needed only one more victory, the last boys’ double game, to land the Championship. As fate would have it, Mike Zhou and Kevin Ma won their match 21-17 in front of a hundred screaming fans. 

The SMUS team bested Claremont with a score of 6-5, thus clinching the Island Championship. The team has now been undefeated on the Island for the last three years and this Island Championship is the 8th time in the last decade for the Jags. The team has now earned a berth to the Provincial Championships, which will be held on March 5-7 in South Surrey.

Senior Boys Basketball
It was a tough weekend, but the Senior boys basketball team earned themselves a spot at the Island Championships being hosted in Ladysmith next weekend.

The boys opened the south island tournament with a big win over a much larger Shawnigan Lake school and after a slow start, the boys started to get things rolling in the third quarter, forcing some key turnovers with their full court defence. SMUS then opened up a 15-point lead early in the fourth and never looked back. In what was a very balanced offensive attack, each of the starters finished in double digits.

After losing their semi-final game, the boys season rested on a game against Gulf Islands secondary. The boys jumped out to a 19-point lead in the second quarter only to give it right back and have the game tied in the third. However, in the final frame the boys once again rallied to push the game out of reach and won the game 81-69. Francis Quinlan played his best game as a Blue Jag, and was named player of the game. This win ensured that the boys were into the island championship.

In the 3rd/4th game, SMUS squared off again with the giants from Shawnigan, and perhaps tired from the previous battles could not muster the energy needed to win this one. The boys wins over Shawnigan and Gulf Islands schools earned them fourth place in the south island tournament and helped prepare them for the Island Championships this weekend.

Senior Girls Basketball
The Senior girls basketball team rolled into Lambrick Park this past Thursday for their last (and most important) league game of the season. A win for the Blue Jags would see the team positioned as the #1 seed in the upcoming Island Championships.

The Blue Jags charged out of the gates flying, hitting open shots, playing solid team defence and amassing a 14-6 lead at the end of the first quarter. Rising to the challenge, the team played their best complete game. Each quarter saw the Blue Jags increase their lead, as they played with poise on offense. Huge defensive contributions by Emily Mulroney helped to hold the Lambrick offense to 36 points for the game, while Shelby “Boardzilla” Boehm dominated the defence, ripping down 19 boards. On the offensive end, the team benefitted from the steady play of standout Sydney Stockus, who paced the Blue Jags with 17 points, 6 rebounds and 6 steals. Ciara Glen, playing her best game to date, chipped in with 8 points and ran the team like a real floor general.

Good luck this weekend at the Island Championships at Lambrick Park. The team opens play on Thursday against Woodlands at 2 pm.

Grade 9 Boys Basketball
The Grade 9 team completed a very successful week of play, defeating Claremont to clinch first place in the City League, and then returning to the Spartans den to capture an Invitational tournament.

In the league encounter, our tenacious defence held Claremont to a season-low 7 points at the half. On SMUS offence, key hoops by Aaron Samson, Johnny Sipos and Jonty Considine broke open the low-scoring affair midway through the second quarter. The second half featured more of the same, with SMUS, behind some stellar rebounding from post Johnny Huang, finally prevailing 42-34.

This offensive lull continued in the opening game of the Claremont tournament. A bright start saw SMUS take a 16-4 lead over Parkland, but from then on baskets were at a premium – as would be suggested by a 28-22 final scoreline.

The next day saw much-improved shooting and more scoring chances. In 48-33 and 50-37 wins over the hosts and Oak Bay respectively, wing Derek Hyde-Lay connected on eight three pointers. This, allied with the usual solid contributions from starters Alex Davies, Lewis Liu, Liam MacLure and Joe Erlic, proved decisive.

The team looks to finish an unbeaten City campaign with league wins at PCS and Victor Brodeur. Then comes the acid test, as SMUS hosts an eight-team Grade 9 Island championship on February 20-21. The top two finishers qualify for the BC Tournament, to be held March 5-7 in the Fraser Valley.

Junior Boys Basketball
This week marked the end of the season for the Junior boys. The city tournament started off against a very strong Lambrick Park squad. The boys were out-matched from the opening tip, and ended up losing by 39 points. The next game saw the boys easily cruise to victory over Reynolds. Every player on the roster was able to contribute, and the boys ended up winning by 35 points.

The season came down to a do-or-die game against Belmont. The boys came out looking sharp, hitting some big shots, and playing tough defence that generated several turnovers. Going in to halftime the score was knotted up at 27 each. The third quarter saw Belmont catch fire from beyond the arc, while SMUS struggled to score from inside the paint.

The boys never gave up in this one. However, they did not have what it would take to defeat Belmont, eventually losing by 17 points. Connor Eden was outstanding throughout the game on both offense and defence.

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