Athletics Review: Mar 8, 2010

Squash
The squash team competed at the BC Junior Close Tournament this past weekend – see below for the results.

  • Moishe Steinbok: U17, bronze
  • Matt Ashton: U15, semifinalist (silver)
  • Adam Weech: U15, bronze
  • Lachlan Glen: U17B, gold
  • Jordi Fowler: U17B, 3rd place
  • Jeremy Fairley: U17B, 4th place
  • Charles Bennett: U17B, bronze
  • Nicole Bunyan: U17 & U19, silver
  • Brynn Daniels: U17 & 19, 5th
  • Arden Mollenhauer: U15 & 17, 4th
  • Stephen Lam: U17B, semifinalist (silver)
  • Leo Lin: U17B, semifinalist (bronze)
  • Karan Vats: U17B, semifinalist (silver)
  • Mike Groot: U17B, finalist (silver)
  • Chris Groot: U19B, 4th
  • John Shin: U17B, semifinalist (bronze)
  • Dylan Sedgwick: U19B, 5th
  • William Lee: U17B, semifinalist (bronze)
  • Jinsu Park: U15B, 5th
  • Cole Turner: U17B, silver
  • Min Park: U15B, 6th

Tyler Olson had a big win in both categories, winning in U17 and U19. All players did well and played hard, and it was a great tournament!

Junior Boys Basketball
SMUS added to its already considerable reputation for hosting quality sporting events, this time running the March 4-6 Junior Boys Provincial Tournament. 16 teams took part, from as far afield as Nelson, Prince Rupert and Prince George.

In the end, a physically tiny and unfancied SMUS team, seeded #10 going in, upset all prognostications with some excellent play, defeating Kelowna and Pitt Meadows before falling to Kitsilano and Tamanawis.

Any opening jitters against Kelowna on the first day were quickly blown away by a barrage of successful three-pointers, with Joe Erlic, Derek Hyde-Lay and Liam MacLure hitting four apiece as SMUS won easily 60-38. This moved the team into the quarterfinals the following day, against #2 seed and highly regarded Pitt Meadows.

This game proved to be one of the most exciting in school history. The big and well-drilled Marauders literally pounded SMUS for three and half quarters, and, with 4.39 to play, led 39-26. Then, in a simply stunning comeback, the Jags, led by Mark Yorath, started hitting three pointers from everywhere. And when Joe Erlic, with the last two of his 21 points, hit the clinching layup with 3 seconds to play, the partisan, capacity crowd of nearly 900 erupted in joy. 42-40 SMUS, and on to the semifinals!!
Alas, the dream of provincial glory died against #3 Kitsilano. While this game remained tied well into the second half, the superior size and strength of the Blue Demons started to take their toll. A critical two minute lapse, at the end of the third quarter, saw SMUS fall behind by 7 points, and despite every effort to claw back the margin, the team could not do so in losing 59-51. Again, Erlic was sensational, scoring 24 points, while MacLure grabbed a game high 13 rebounds.

The following day, this time against #5 seed Tamanawis of Surrey, SMUS, though running on fumes from the start, somehow found the energy to play an excellent first half. Solid outside shooting and even better team defence staked the Jags to a 26-9 lead at intermission.

But it was not to last. Though fighting off various Wildcat surges in the third quarter, and, while still leading 36-24 a minute into the last quarter, SMUS slowly lost momentum. Foul trouble, rebounding woes, missed shots and turnovers, but, most of all, sheer fatigue, combined to make for a nightmarish final seven minutes. The talented Tamanawis team took their chances, scoring frequently from the foul-line in what finished a 45-40 victory.

Nonetheless, the SMUS players certainly deserved to be proud of their performance. While Erlic and MacLure were named tournament All-Stars, the entire team performed with immense credit, battling BC’s top schools to a standstill and winning many admirers in the process.

Senior Badminton
The SMUS Senior badminton team was at the provincial championships this past week in Victoria. The team came into the tournament with the #6 seed, and the team was also undefeated heading into the tournament. In pool play, the team shocked the #3 seed Steveston-London with a 6-5 win. Ross Prager made his presence known in the boys singles, while Ethan Lee and Joe Ekthumrong came away with a monumental win in the doubles. The sister duo of Helen and Candice Ip also beat a very strong opponent pairing. The next game was much easier, as we faced D.P. Todd (Prince George). While their team had a few strong players, it was the depth of the SMUS team that made this a mismatch. The starters got some much needed rest, and the team cruised onto an 8-3 win. For the final game of the day, SMUS was matched up against #12 seed Moscrop (Burnaby). This team had the #2 boys player in Canada, so a crafty lineup would be necessary. Once again, it was the doubles’ pairings that rose to the challenge, and we took the game by a score of 7-4. The win put SMUS atop of the pool and feeling on top of the world heading into day two.

The next opponent would be #4 seed J.N. Burnett (Richmond), and we knew it would be a close one from the getgo. In early doubles play, Ross Prager and Ethan Lee lost narrowly in extra points (22-20), which made it an uphill battle from there. Joe Ekthumrong had a chance to win in the boys’ singles, but his lack of experience shone through as he went down in a close affair. The last chance for SMUS would be in the mixed doubles, and once again, we came up just a bit short. A 6-5 loss was a tough pill to swallow for a team that had a genuine shot at the provincial championship. In the penultimate match, SMUS would be relieved to find arch-rival Claremont as their opponent. While Claremont would normally prove to be a difficult opponent, they were missing two key players on the day, making things much easier for SMUS. In girls singles, Sylvia Ho played the game of her life and won in three games. The usual suspects did their thing, and when the dust settled, it was a 7-4 win for SMUS.

This win put SMUS into the 5th/6th game.

In the final game of the year, SMUS once again faced Richmond’s Steveston-London. SMUS was determined to finish on a strong note. The team had beaten this team once before, and they knew they had it in them. When the lineups were revealed, the advantage went to the SMUS team as we had guessed correctly with their lineup. The SMUS team rose to the occasion, and took both singles, the mixed, and 4 doubles. It would be a convincing 7-4 win for the home team, sealing a 5th place finish.

The 5th place finish equals the best result from a SMUS team in well over a decade. Congratulations to the entire team, but special congratulations to Michael Ip and Robbie Thomas who went undefeated (12-0) in the tournament. Ross Prager was named to the All-Star Commissioner’s 16.

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