Athletics Review: Jan 18, 2010

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Senior Girls Basketball
The Senior girls basketball team had another busy week. In league play, the team travelled to Parklands to easily defeat the Panthers.

It was the Victoria City Police Tournament that was the focus for the week. The tournament featured some of the top Island teams, as well as some strong AA teams from the mainland.

In the team’s opening round game against Point Grey, the Blue Jags played to a packed gym. It wasn’t until the third quarter that the Jags begin to stretch their lead. Relying on their 2-3 zone to limit Point Grey shots, SMUS finished with a 69-54 victory. Abbey “Zeke” Piazza finished with 20 pts and 6 rebounds. Sydney “Spider” Stockus added 12 points and 7 rebounds and The Matrix (Annie Pike) garnered her first double-double of the season, with 14 points and 14 boards.

In the quarter-final game against local AAA team, Stellys, SMUS got off to a slow start. However, superior fitness and offensive execution led the Blue Jags to a 44-29 win. Off the bench, Emily “Mo” Mulroney and Montana “Cheeco” Sawyer contributed with solid minutes, playing hard-nosed defense. Again the scoring load was carried by Zeke (14 points), Spider (12 points) and Matrix (8 points, 10 boards).

This win, setup the semi-final match with AAA powerhouse, Oak Bay. Oak Bay had not been challenged in the tournament and SMUS was ready to give them all they could handle. The first half saw the Blue Jags down by just 8 points heading into the locker room. Unfortunately, in the second half, the Bays began to get hot from behind the arc, nailing four third-quarter three pointers to give them a comfortable lead heading in the final quarter. It was too much of a gap for the Jags and they lost 45 to 67. Matrix led the team with 14 points and 6 boards, Zeke chipped in with 13 points and Spider had another solid performance, finishing with 12 points and 7 boards.

In the team’s final game of the tournament for third place, SMUS faced Windsor of North Vancouver, a solid AA team and a sure bet to be at this year’s provincials. The opening quarter was pretty even with Windsor having a slight edge. However, in the second quarter, SMUS put on the full court press, which caused major problems for the visiting team. SMUS went in to the locker room with a five-point lead. Off the bench, Rebecca “Spike” Mulroney played some serious minutes taking care of the basketball and making several sweet hi-post passes. In the second half, short-staffed as five SMUS players were away on various other school functions, the Blue Jags began to tire. Some fourth quarter foul trouble also hurt the Jags. Windsor went on to win, 54-48. Though not the result the Blue Jags were hoping for, it was an excellent showing against a strong AA team. Zeke led all scorers with 15 points, Matrix chipped in with 12 points and Spider finished with 9 points and 11 boards. A bright light for the SMUS team, was the strong play by grade 10 standout, Madison “McGoo” Hadfield who finished with 10 points and 5 boards.

The team has big league games this week against St. Andrews and Lambrick Park.

Senior Boys Basketball
The Senior Boys/girls basketball teams hosted the Island police tournament this weekend which featured 32 boys and girls teams.

The boys were in a very competitive field featuring some of the top AA schools from around the province. After an easy 20-point victory over Mark Isfeld on Thursday in front of their home fans, the boys played a tough Brentwood College team in their second round game. Brentwood’s size was a problem for the SMUS boys, who played some of their worst basketball of the year in the first half. However, the boys battled all the way back, making it a 3 point game with 2 minutes remaining. This was as close as it got, and the boys dropped the contest 78-70.

In their final game of the tournament, the boys squared off against the number 1 ranked AA team in the province, South Okanagan. The boys came out firing in this game, and with neither team gaining much of an advantage throughout the game, this one came down to the wire. Free-throw shooting had been a problem for the boys throughout the tournament, but in the final minutes the boys made them when they counted to seal a win, and wrap up the tournament on a high note.

Tycho Mommsen-Smith was named to the tournament all-star team.

Grade 10 Girls Basketball
On Tuesday, January 12th, the girls faced St. Andrews in their first home game. It was a close game through the first three quarters, with both teams hitting shots. Ronnie Tsai slashed to the basket scoring 10 points, and Alice Wang chipped in 10 as well, scoring 2 from beind the 3-point line. In the 4th quarter, the Blue Jags couldn’t keep up with the fast paced game, and a limited bench, losing 49-39.

On Thursday, the Blue Jags rolled into Lambrick Park with depleted numbers. The five-player contingent fought hard, scoring inside and out. Sara Taylor had 16 points, scoring off post entries, and eating up the offensive rebounds. Ronnie Tsai and Alice Wang contribued 8 and 7 points respectively. With 2 minutes remaining, foul trouble caught up with the Jags, and they played out the final minutes shorthanded. They pulled together on defence, and came home with a 33-28 win.

Junior Boys Basketball
All three Junior Boys Basketball teams enjoyed busy and successful weeks, as the second half of the season got underway.

First, the Grade 10 Jags opened City “A” division league play with away victories over Claremont and Reynolds. Both proved to be sticky opponents, the former reversing almost all of an early 18-2 SMUS lead, while the latter jumped on top early before falling prey to pressure induced turnovers.

The Jags then moved onto the prestigious North Shore Invitational Tournament. In the first of four very competitive games, the team opened up by beating Charles Best 57-40, with Joe Erlic and Derek Hyde-Lay earning 38 points combined. The next day, against host Handsworth, some stellar play off the bench by David Pollen sparked a 57-44 victory.

This moved the squad into the semifinals, against perennial provincial contender Burnaby South (BC #4 in the most recent poll). Behind post Goran Kovac, the favourites used a 24-8 second quarter run to go into intermission up by 18 points. However, SMUS stuck to its guns, and, with Mark Yorath and Dawit Workie sparking some tenacious full court pressure, clawed its way back into the contest. Unfortunately, down by two with 10 seconds to play, a last shot opportunity to tie or win the game went abegging.

The Grade 9 Blues took part in the ISA Tournament at Shawnigan, and opened with wins over WPGA and St. John’s. The second of these games was a tight, tense affair, with some fine early shooting by Montgomery Fraser-Brown and then some aggressive full court defence from Keiler Totz and Georgios Ikonomou helping secure a 53-50 decision.

The tournament final, against an older, bigger St. George’s team (BC #2 at Grade 10 level), was never going to result in a win, but nonetheless, produced many positives. While the opposition’s size and pressure eventually took its toll, the entire SMUS team battled from start to finish, closing at one time to within five points midway through the second quarter.

The Whites also played in the ISA event, and, with a full roster for the first time all year, split two games, losing to Collingwood but defeating WPGA 41-34. Len Luo and Charles Yang led the scoring.

The week of January 18-24 is relatively quiet, with only a handful of league games on the card.

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