Athletics Review: Dec 13, 2010

Grade 9 Girls Basketball
The Grade 9 girls basketball team had their first league game, facing Spencer in what turned out to be a competitive contest. SMUS led for the majority of the game, with a great attack from Vivian Lam, contributing 8 points while Chris Chen and Yasmin Roudsari each chipped in with 4 points. Spencer attempted a comeback by putting on a press, but SMUS was able to maintain control of the game and came out with a 22-18 win.

On Friday, the team headed to the Parkland Panthers Junior Girls basketball tournament. In the first round, they faced a very strong team from Kamloops: Brocklehurst. The zone defense was too much for the Jags, and they lost the opening game. Saturday morning pitted SMUS against the Gulf Islands. It was a competitive and fast paced game, and in the end, SMUS couldn’t overcome the early lead the Gulf Islands had built.

The Grade 9 girls then found themselves with a rematch of their league game from Thursday against Spencer. With a depleted SMUS squad of 6 players, the girls fought hard through faitigue and physical play to once again come out with the win, by a score of 24-22. Kudos go out to the gritty play of Sofia Liang, Stephanie Wong-Harrison, Jill Ding, Yasmin Roudsari, Jane Pirie and Emma Laprise. Their focus and determination were impressive in holding on for the win.

Grade 10 Boys Basketball
Another fine week of play resulted in three more wins and, for the first time since 1997, a move to #1 in the provincial basketball rankings!

In a December 10 matchup vs Brentwood, a blistering 21-2 third quarter broke open a fairly tight game, as SMUS rolled to a 61-27 win. Keiler Totz, with 19 points, led all scorers, with Dawit Workie adding 13 points.

The next morning, yet another dominant second half saw the team defeat Wellington of Nanaimo. Balanced scoring was again the key, while PG Mark Yorath dished out 11 assists.

Finally came a much anticipated showdown with two time defending provincial champion and pre-season #1 ranked Vancouver College. The Fighting Irish showcased a huge and bruising front line, but struggled against another fine all round defensive effort by the hosts. Wayne Lin, Steve Whillans and Monty Fraser-Brown managed parity on the boards despite giving away height and weight, while David Pollen, even if hobbled somewhat by a sore ankle, notched 9 key points in addition to contributing in many other areas. Again, while Yorath with 11 was top scorer, Fraser-Brown (9), Workie (8), Totz (8) and Lin (6) ensured that VC could focus on stopping any one player. Trenton Schulz-Franco further pitched in with some key steals and help defence.

In the end, after jumping out to a 16-7 first quarter lead, SMUS retained control throughout. While a careless final minute before the half allowed the Irish back within nine points, early threes by Yorath and Workie shortly after intermission stretched the margin back to 34-19. VC never got closer than 11 points the rest of the way with SMUS finishing on top 57-38.

While results from November and December guarantee absolutely nothing come playoff time in February and March, SMUS can take some satisfaction from moving on top of the provincial polls. In compiling a 6-0 record to date, the team has conceded double digit points in only two of the 24 quarters played.

Monday, December 13 sees the team take on Lambrick Park in league play before heading off to participate in a tournament in Honolulu.


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