Athletics Review: SMUS Teams Gain Ground

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February 15, 2012

Squash
by Lizette Greyling

It has been a very successful semester so far for SMUS squash with a few tournaments already behind us. The ISA championships were the most recent event and we saw the top squash schools in the region battle it out for first place. The Junior boys proved themselves by walking away with 2nd place and the Senior boys came in 3rd.

This coming weekend SMUS hosts the British Columbia Jesters Pacific Northwest Junior Squash Championships. With 211 kids competing from across Western Canada, this event is one of the largest Junior squash tournaments in Canada. SMUS is entering 42 players in the event. Matches begin Thursday at 4pm in the Monkman Athletic Complex at the Richmond campus.

The next junior event is the BC Junior closed tournament from March 2-4 at the magnificent Hollyburn Country club in Vancouver. Many of the top players from the school will be in attendance.

Junior Girls Developmental Basketball
by Amanda Daum
This week the Junior girls developmental team won both of their league games. The first game was against St. Andrews and the second against Dunsmuir. The team should be very proud of themselves for playing the smartest game of basketball this year! Shout outs go to Neomi Groh and Alicia Knight for focusing and working very hard during both games to score points. One more week of league games and we are on to playoffs.

Junior Boys Basketball
by Ian Hyde-Lay

SMUS completed league play with a demanding three game set, playing away to Oak Bay before hosting Claremont and Lambrick Park. With this quartet contesting the top four positions in league, there was much a stake, as the intensity of the games proved.

In the first encounter SMUS could not overcome a nervy start, falling behind 15-7 and then 24-12 at Oak Bay. Mat Rud led the Blue Jags scoring with 9 hard earned points, but the early momentum shift was too much to overcome. Indeed, the hosts led by as many as 17 before a few late baskets by the visitors narrowed the final score to 54-43.

Nonetheless, SMUS looked forward its next matchup, this time against Claremont. A win would keep hope alive for a league title. Playing its best game of the season, the Jags gave the BC #2-ranked Spartans all they could handle. Behind some stellar play from Danny Wu, they recovered from an opening 19-7 deficit to lead by two going into the final quarter. With 50 seconds to play, the game still hung in the balance, as SMUS trailed by a single point. But a dagger three-pointer by Jamal Slack ended hopes of an upset, with Claremont prevailing 49-43.

The loss meant that SMUS now had to beat Lambrick Park — by seven or more points — to avoid a fourth place league finish. A tight defensive struggle saw the Lions up 21-17 at intermission. Buoyed by the unexpected return from injury of point guard Graeme Hyde-Lay, and with Wu potting 24 points on a series of drives and trifectas, the hosts pulled away in the second half to win 55-44.

With the victory, SMUS completed league play with an 8-2 record, and, following a convoluted tie break formulae, finished in third place. This means a Monday, February 13 City playoff quarterfinal versus Reynolds, with a possible rematch against Oak Bay, this time with an Island berth at stake, the following day.

Senior Boys Basketball
by Reagan Daly
The Senior boys had a very important league game Wednesday night at Lambrick Park. The regular season championship and a chance to enter the South Island tournament as the number 1 seed was the backdrop and the boys came out firing.

The team opened a big lead in the first half, going up 29-14. Dave Lafleur dominated the second quarter — the host Lions simply had no answer for him in the post. The boys gave up some late baskets but reached the intermission with a 7-point lead.

This game was a tale of two halves and Lambrick, feeding off the energy of the home crowd, clawed back to take a 1-point lead entering the final quarter. SMUS received a huge lift from their senior guards in crunch time, with Joe Erlic nailing a pair of three-pointers to give the boys a 6-point margin of victory 59-53.

Senior Girls Basketball
by Lindsay Brooke

The Senior girls basketball team played two league games last week. In the first game, the Blue Jags hosted PCS. The game was blown open in the first quarter as the Jags took a 20-2 lead. Everyone received lots of playing time and the team was able to work on some different lineups. The final score was 56-20. Abbey Piazza led all scorers with 15 points. Rachel Sibbald chipped in with 10 points and Kate Cluley added 9 points.

In the second game, the Blue Jags faced arch rival Lambrick Park on their home court. Looking to avenge their earlier 30-point loss, the girls were pumped. However, again, the Lambrick defense stifled the SMUS offense. Lambrick Park was also hot from the perimeter, shooting 50% from the 3-point line for the game. The Pride held the lead at half, 42-17. This deficit was too much too overcome, but the girls bucked-up and won the second half. Final score, Lambrick: 68, SMUS: 53. Allie White lead the team with 16 points and 12 rebounds, Madison Hadfield added 12 points and 13 rebounds, and Abbey Piazza netted 9 points. The Blue Jags will go back to the drawing board in preparation for a potential South Island Championship meeting with Lambrick next week. The South Island Championships are being held at St. Margaret’s Feb 16-18.

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