Athletics Review: Rugby and Regattas and Provincials, Oh My!

2012 Rugby Tour
by Ian Hyde-Lay

On March 16, 38 boys, comprising the bulk of the Senior and Junior rugby squads, along with four staff, departed for a 16-day tour of Argentina and Uruguay.

In every way, starting with the splendid organization of Eliot Anderson and featuring absolutely superb 25°C weather throughout, the tour was hugely enjoyable and a real success.

Each team played five games, against a cross section of schools and clubs in the two countries. Indeed, from San Marcos and St. George’s, two private institutions in Buenos Aires very much along the lines of SMUS, to the powerful Duendes RFC in Rosario, and then to Areco RFC on the Pampas, the tour had a little bit of everything.

Both teams played well, with the Senior squad — led magnificently throughout by Jeff Nishima-Miller — winning three of its five contests. Indeed, the performance, albeit in a losing cause, against Duendes, was one of the 1st XV’s finest in the past decade.

At the Junior level, two wins from five was a fair return, with all the games, bar Duendes, closely contested. The highlight was a gutsy 7-5 victory in Montevideo against Colegio Semanario. Captain Zach Kahn and newcomer David Boroto were just two of several players who performed particularly well.

For a detailed report on the tour, please visit the trip blog.

Both teams now look forward to matches against city, Island and provincial competition.

Rowing
Spring Break didn’t keep our athletes away from some serious training. As our rowers enter the major racing season, about 40 students (including boarders from Europe, the Caribbean and Eastern Canada) returned to school early to participate in training camps organized by Suzanne Walker-Curry. They are preparing for regattas in Maple Bay and Brentwood along with Rowing Canada Trials in April. The month of May sees the team travel to Windermere, Shawnigan Lake and finally the National Championships, or “Schoolboys,” in Ontario.

Be sure to check the Athletics Review for updates and pictures from all of these regattas.

Senior Girls Basketball
by Lindsay Brooke

The Senior girls basketball team competed at the AA Provincials before the break. Having qualified through the challenge game, the team was faced with a less than favourable seeding in the tournament. SMUS was ranked 9th, setting up an opening round matchup with the #8 seed and host school, Sahali of Kamloops. SMUS beat Sahali earlier in the season by six points. It was bound to be a tough game and opening with the host school is never easy.

The game was tight from the opening tip off. SMUS trailed 22-21 at the half and was struggling to find any rhythm on offense. Sahali pulled away in the final two minutes of the game, finishing off the Blue Jags 49-40. It was a good effort, despite shooting only 25% from the field. Madison Hadfield led the team with 13 points and pulled down 6 rebounds. Abbey Piazza and Allie White chipped in with 9 points. Piazza was named the team’s player of the game.

SMUS would need to recoup in order to make a push for the consolation championship and a best 9th place finish. This would be the new goal for the team. In the second game of the tournament, SMUS faced the 16th seed, Abbey Collegiate of the Fraser Valley. This game was no contest, as the Blue Jags ran away with the lead in the opening quarter. Piazza led all scorers with 18 points, White finished with 12 points and eight rebounds and garnered player of the game honours. Kate Cluley heated up from downtown, nailing four 3-pointers, and senior wing player Ali Pollen added seven rebounds.

In the next game, SMUS faced the South Okanagan Hornets. SOSS featured a provincial team guard and dangerous swing player. Trailing most of the game, the Blue Jags relied on the steady 3-point shooting of Sophia Ducharme. Piazza locked down on the SOSS guard and late in the fourth quarter a little bit of magic fueled a comeback win for the Jags. In arguably the team’s best game of the season, SMUS secured the win 79-68, treating a packed gym to some high level basketball. Piazza finished with 23 points, White added 12 points and 11 boards, Rachel Sibbald was a hound on defense and finished with 13 points and nine boards. Ducharme netted player of the game honours.

Right where they wanted to be, SMUS squared off with valley team Abbey Christian for 9th place. In the Egg Mcmuffin game, the Blue Jags once again relied on a late game push to secure the victory. Piazza finished with 20 points. White finished with 10 points and eight rebounds, while Hadfield had 10 points and Sibbald finished with 8 points in the win. Rachel Sibbald continued her strong defensive play and earned player of the game honours.

The Blue Jags placed in 9th spot and played their best basketball of the season. Abbey Piazza was recognized with an hounourable mention all-star, a well-deserved award for her best basketball to date. The team is sad to lose Grade 12 students Madison Hadfield and Ali Pollen. Both brought valuable qualities to the team and they will be difficult to replace. However, the future is bright for this group, as they will contend for the AA title next season. Great job team!

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