Athletics Review: March 8, 2009

SMUS Teams Compete at Provincial Championships
The Senior girls basketball team travelled to Kamloops this past week for the AA Provincial Championships. They had an hour-long shooting practice at a local high school before getting ready for the tournament’s tipoff banquet. The girls had lots of energy and were excited to be at such a prestigious event with the top 16 girls teams from around the province.

In the team’s first game on Wednesday afternoon, the Blue Jags squared off against Windsor of North Vancouver, who boasted a 6’1″ post and 5’11” swing player. The SMUS squad was well-prepared, but played with lots of nerves in the opening quarter. SMUS got down 8-1 off the opening tip and the first quarter finished with a Windsor lead of 15-7. The second quarter was much of the same. SMUS was down, with Shelby Boehm sitting out due to early foul trouble. The first half finished 24-12 in favour of Windsor.

In the second half, SMUS ramped up the pressure defensively and created many steals with their press, but unfortunately could not convert on offense. The team closed the gap to 10 points heading into the final quarter. Drives by Lauren Kipp and Sydney Stockus narrowed the gap to 7 points with 2:34 remaining, but the final score was 45-34 for Windsor.

The team did well defensively, mixing up their zones and presses. Lauren Kipp was the team’s player-of-the-game, scoring 10 points and competing at both ends of the court.

Now playing on the consolation side of the tournament, the Blue Jags faced Smithers. Once again, the team was slow to start. After the first quarter, SMUS trailed 11-7. The Blue Jags were effective in attacking the basket and drawing fouls, however, they could not convert their foul shots. At the half, SMUS led 23-19. Then, thanks to some strong play by Shelby Boehm, the team opened the game up in the third quarter. They had more flow offensively, converting their open layups and creating many good looks with aggressive full court pressure.

The team finished the game with a 23-6 run in the fourth quarter to seal the victory, 64-42. Shelby Boehm finished with 14 points, Sydney Stockus chipped in with 12 points and Ceilidh MacLeod added 8 points. A strong all-round game was had by Grade 10 standout Annie Pike, who finished with 7 points and looked strong at the point guard position in the second half.

In their third game of the tournament, SMUS faced off against Crofton House, a team the Blue Jags defeated in early December. It was SMUS’ best game of the tournament. They executed offensively and built an 11-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, the wheels came off midway through the fourth. A 9-point lead was quickly erased when the Crofton House all-star scored three consecutive 3-pointers. The game finished tied 59-59 and headed into overtime. In overtime, Crofton House won, 64-63. Shelby Boehm was outstanding in the losing effort, finishing with 16 points and 17 rebounds. Lauren Kipp added 13 points and Ceilidh MacLeod chipped in with 10 points.

After that, the Blue Jags faced Holy Cross, a young team who played their trademark pressure defense. SMUS was playing well and finished the first half down by five points. In the second half, SMUS could not muster an offensive comeback and came up short, losing 41-54. All the Grade 12 players got on the scoresheet in the final game. Shelby Boehm and Sydney Stockus each finished with 10 points and Ciara Glen was named the team’s player-of-the game.

The Blue Jags finished in 12th place and though the games didn’t go as they had hoped, all of the players gained valuable experience with regard to the level of play required to be successful at the top level.

The Senior badminton team was in White Rock last week, competing at the Provincial Championships. The team entered the tournament as the #9 seed, with hopes of finishing higher than that. In pool play, the team lost to #2 seed H.J. Burnett (Richmond) 7-4 and then faced the #8 seed Fraser Heights (Surrey).

In yet another epic battle for the SMUS team, the team played with determination and vigour. All games were close, and the matches took over 2 hours to complete. As luck would have it however, SMUS won only one of six games that went into tiebreaker points. The result would be a 6-5 loss for SMUS. In 10 years of coaching, Mr. Hunt has never seen such a close game. After an easy 11-0 win over Mt. Baker (Cranbrook), the team took 3rd place in their pool and went after the consolation prize.

On the second day of the tournament, the team breezed past Centennial Christian (Terrace) 11-0 before facing yet another Surrey School. Semiahmoo, ranked #6 going into the championship, challenged the SMUS team and it was a close contest, but SMUS lost yet another heartbreaker by a score of 7-4.

On the final day of the tournament, the team knocked off #10 seed Moscrop (Burnaby) by a score of 7-4. SMUS ended with a record of 3 wins and 3 losses in the championship. The 11th place finish was not what the team had hoped for, but the team can take solace in the fact that luck just wasn’t on their side when the tight games were on the line.

The team says goodbye to Grade 12 members Edmond Yiu, Kevin Ma, co-captains Mike Zhou and Carol Ng. All played with skill, leadership and competitive spirit throughout. The coaching staff wishes these graduates the very best in the future, and looks forward to working with the rest of the team next September.

Grade 9 Boys Basketball
Over the weekend, the Grade 9 boys competed in the Provincial Championships. After a first place finish at the Island Championships, the boys found themselves out-matched by some strong mainland competition.

The first game saw SMUS face a much bigger Tanawamis squad, comprised of multiple players over six feet. Despite a stellar shooting performance that saw Derek Hyde-Lay sink five three-pointers, the Blue Jags could not compete with Tanawamis, and dropped a thirty-point decision.

Game two brought the 14th seeded Pinetree, an ostensibly better match for the Blue Jags. The team gave Pinetree a swift test in the first half, exchanging leads several times behind the aggressive offensive play of Joseph Erlic. As the game unfolded, SMUS was unable to keep up with the sharp-shooting Pinetree offense, and eventually conceded a twelve-point defeat.

The third game of the tournament met the team with Island rivals Oak Bay. SMUS had won the previous three games, but it was clear that they would need to be on top of their game in order to take a fourth win from the Bays. The team jumped out to a strong start behind the offensive prowess of Player of the Game Liam Maclure. Oak Bay, however, would not go away, and eventually took their first lead of the game with ten seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. After a time-out, the Blue Jags inbounded to Joseph Erlic, who drew a double team under the hoop. Joseph displayed great court vision, and dished the ball to Lewis Liu for an open lay-up, which he emphatically sank. This put the Blue Jags up 46-45, and ultimately led to victory.

The tournament wrapped up with SMUS facing perennial mainland powerhouse, the Centennial Centaurs. This game played out much like the previous game, with SMUS setting the tempo throughout the first three quarters. Derek Hyde-Lay continued his hot shooting, while Liam Maclure rebounded dominantly on both ends. Centennial fought back late in the fourth to make for another close finish, but the Blue Jags were able to preserve their lead long enough to capture 13th place overall in the tournament. Liam Maclure was again named Player of the Game and was an honourable mention for Tournament All-Star.

Grade 9 Girls Basketball
Last Tuesday, the Grade 9 girls basketball team met Dunsmuir in the semi-finals. Not having played them before, there were a few nerves in the start of the first quarter, but SMUS quickly found their groove. Isailah Johnson-Ferguson led the charge with 24 points, and Madison Hadfield chipped in with 9. At the half, SMUS had built a sizeable lead. In the second half, Sun-Woo Oh helped provide defensive stops, creating fast break opportunities. Alice Wang went 2 for 2 from the field to add 4 points. The final score was 51-15 and the girls advanced to Tuesday’s final against PCS.


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