Athletics Review: January 16, 2012

Junior Girls Basketball
by Amanda Daum

The developmental team started the week off with a win against St. Margaret’s. Two stand-out players in this game were Emma Laprise for her awesome rebounding skills and Vivian Lam who continually took the ball to the hoop hard, finishing well. Every player was able to contribute to this game and we worked together as a team.

We pulled off a close win against Belmont on Tuesday after school. When the second half began, we were up by more than 10, but let the lead slip away in the third and fourth quarters. However, the girls showed great determination and strength, taking control of the situation, making some key shots and playing awesome defence. Megan Harrison was relentless on defence and a rebounding machine! Catriona Gordon-Poag, our centre, used her shooting and post skills to help pull us through this game as well. This was one of the more challenging games for our team and we are happy with how the girls played.

by Aimee Daly

On Wednesday, the Junior girls basketball team faced Pacific Christian School. After trailing in the second half, the Blue Jags rallied, but narrowly lost by three points, 40–37.

The girls then travelled to Vancouver to play in the ISA tournament at York House. They faced St. John’s in their first round robin game, and came away with a decisive 77–3 victory. Contributions came from every player with Claire Williams adding 18 points and Stephanie Wong-Harrison with 12 points.

The Blue Jags were confident and composed in their next game against Shawnigan Lake where they took the lead and ran with it. Emma Loughton led the team with 12 points in a 43–15 win.

A slow start in the semi-final game against Crofton House proved to be a challenge. The girls battled back in the third quarter but were unsuccessful in an intense defensive battle, losing 29–21.

The girls played against Shawnigan Lake again for third place. Going into their fourth game, fatigue was an issue, however they held Shawnigan to 29 points and came away with a third place finish.

Claire Williams and Emma Loughton were named to the tournament all-star team. Congratulations to all the girls for a very successful tournament.

This week the junior girls will face a strong Stelly’s team as well as Spectrum in league play.

Senior Boys Basketball
by Ian Hyde-Lay

The Senior boys competed January 12–14 in the 33rd Annual Police Tournament, opening with a much anticipated game versus BC AA #4 ranked Windsor of North Vancouver.

An excellent defensive performance, spearheaded by Liam Maclure, held Dukes star David Manshrek to only 15 points, well under his season average. SMUS prevailed 62–46.

The win moved the team into the semifinals vs Lambrick Park. Another solid overall effort produced a 71–59 victory. Monty Fraser-Brown (16) led four players in double figures, with Dawit Workie’s stellar defence also a significant factor.

The final against arch-rival Oak Bay was an opportunity to avenge a heavy defeat of a week ago. An enthusiastic crowd of around 500 was treated to a very competitive contest, with numerous ties and lead changes. Down 13–6 and 18–9 early on, SMUS recovered well to take a one point lead at intermission.

The game boiled down to two mini runs by Oak Bay. The first came after SMUS had taken its largest lead mid way through the third frame at 38–31. Then, with the game tied at 54 with five minutes to play, three costly Blue Jags turnovers gifted the Bays three hoops and a seven point lead they would not relinquish.

Fourth quarter fatigue was undoubtedly an issue for SMUS, with Workie away on USA 7s rugby duty and Derek Hyde-Lay out with back trouble. Still, disappointment lingered over what was certainly a winnable game.

Joe Erlic and Maclure were named to the All Tournament team.

Next up for the team is a January 17 home league game vs PCS before exhibition play vs BC AAA #8 Mt. Douglas on January 21.

Grade 9 Boys Basketball
by Steve Bates

The Grade 9 boys basketball team placed 2nd in their tournament at Cedar this weekend. In their first game against Ballenas, Grant Nicholson had the hot hand from the outside, pacing the team to an early lead. On the basis of strong pressure defense led by Owen Sudul, the boys clung to a single digit lead late in the 4th period. Alex Caton and Jake Wilmott hit pressure free throws in the last minute to retain the small margin en route to a 34–31 win.

In the second game against John Barsby, it was the inside presence of Liam Catto and Michael Cernucan at both ends of the floor that ultimately led to a 52–36 win. The two post players finished inside on the offensive end and helped the team retain the lead to the end.

Despite Jack Sherrod’s ability to slice through the Gulf Islands’ zone defense and lead the team in scoring in the final, the boys ran into a very worthy opponent.

It was a very successful weekend and the boys should be very proud of their efforts on the court.

Senior Girls Basketball
by Lindsay Brooke

The Senior girls basketball team opened league play with a game against Edward Milne. The Blue Jags proved to be too much for the Sooke team to handle, winning easily 59–9. Abbey Piazza led all scorers with 15 points and Senior Madison Hadfield chipped in with 14.

Next up for the SMUS squad was the Victoria City Police Tournament. The team faced GW Graham in their opening round game and jumped out to a 21–5 lead in the first quarter. The Grizzlies ramped up their defense and began to chip away the SMUS lead. The 16 point lead began to fizzle as the game wore on and the Blue Jags eked out a narrow 60–58 win. Allie White led the team with 20 points, Abbey Piazza added 13 points and Madison Hadfield scored 11 points.

In the semi-final game, SMUS shook off a slow start to defeat the Mt. Doug Rams, 45–34. Abbey Piazza and Sophia Ducharme each had 15 points in the win. This win set up the tournament final against arch-rival Lambrick Park. The Blue Jags struggled offensively for the entire game, only scoring 31 points in a losing effort (62-31 for Lambrick). The Pride were able to shutdown Piazza and Ducharme and unfortunately the rest of the SMUS team struggled with their shooting. Ducharme led the team with 12 points. Abbey Piazza and Sophia Ducharme were named to the tournament all-star team.

The Senior girls will face PCS this week in league play.

Junior Boys Basketball
by Ritch Primrose

The Junior boys basketball team competed in the Independent School Championships this past weekend at St. John’s School in Vancouver. Coming off a successful Vancouver College Tournament the previous weekend, the team was excited to compete against the finest independent schools in the province.

Up first was Surrey’s Southridge Storm. The Blue Jags got off to a sluggish start, and difficulty putting the ball in the hoop led to a closer than comfortable game at the half. To their credit, the boys pitched up big time in the second half and, led by a flurry of transition hoops by Danny Wu and Max Pollen combined with a stellar rebounding effort from Jack Janus, the boys pushed their lead to 30 points by the beginning of the third quarter. Point guard Jeremy Chan distributed the ball well and scored at will in the fourth quarter, leading the Jags to a comfortable 70–48 victory. Danny Wu was feted as player of the game.

The semi-final game matched the Jags against the host St. John’s Eagles, an athletic and up-tempo squad. Tough defence was the order of the day for SMUS, led by Jason Skully’s excellent perimeter guarding on the Eagles’ star scorer.

Collectively, the Blue Jags played one of their best games of the year, with their vaunted 2–2–1 press generating a steady flow of turn-over lay-ups. Guards Graeme Hyde-Lay and Max Pollen were relentless on the ball and created scoring opportunities at every turn. Matt Rud was an offensive force in the post, as was power forward Jordan Lane. Riding a 30 point lead into the fourth quarter, David Boroto put on a rebounding clinic and managed a few strong drives to the hoop. The Jags cruised to victory and turned a few heads with their stifling team defence.

The final game matched the Blue Jags against perennial powerhouse St. George’s. Led by their 6’7” provincial team guard, the Saints proved to be a tough task. The boys started strong and made the first half very competitive. Mat Rud’s defence made it difficult for St. George’s star to score, but the Saints attack was balanced and dangerous.

Graeme Hyde-Lay handled the on-ball pressure from the Saints’ defence with ease, earning him Player of the Game honours. While the team held pace for the first half, they were unable to maintain it for 40 minutes, and ended up dropping the contest 57–27. This secured a silver medal for the boys and a first team all-tournament honour for team captain Matt Rud.

This week sees the Blue Jags in league action against Stelly’s (Monday) and Spectrum (Wednesday).

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