Athletics Review: Basketball, Burgers and Beats


As SMUS preps for the annual Victoria Police basketball tournament this weekend, we have lots of basketball for you this week. Find out how the Junior and Senior girls are faring and spend a minute getting to know Rachel: Symons House boarder, Arts Council Head, Senior basketball player, fan of greasy pre-game meals and devotee of Marshall Mathers III.

Junior Girls Basketball
by Aimee Daly

The Junior girls tipped-off against Stelly’s in their first league game of the season last Monday. Their month of training paid off as the girls held the lead throughout the first half, and cruised to a 47-41 win. Leading scorers for the game included captains Sarah and Emma Loughton, who combined for 25 points.

This past weekend, the girls played in the Junior Island Challenge Tournament, which featured 12 teams from the Island and the mainland. Our Junior Jags faced off against Kwalikum in their first game on Friday, and after a slow start the girls turned it on and took the game 50-15. The Jags faced Spectrum a couple of hours later and secured another solid victory, propelling them to the semi-finals Saturday morning.

The Jags met a strong Oak Bay team in the semifinals and, despite their hard work and tough play, the girls were unable to take the win. In their final match for 3rd or 4th place, the Jags played Walnut Grove from Langley. The game was close throughout the first half, but being outsized by the competition and a few missed opportunities led to a defeat. The successful 4th place finish can be attributed to the hard work of all players on the team! Well done girls.

The Junior girls face Spectrum in league play this week and head to Vancouver this weekend to compete in ISAs.

Senior Girls Basketball
by Lindsay Brooke

The Senior girls basketball team resumed league play this week with a game against Esquimalt. Esquimalt’s young and inexperienced team was no match for the SMUS Blue Jags. SMUS jumped out to a 22-4 first quarter lead. They extended the lead, 42-6 at the half. All players contributed both offensively and defensively, as the lines were rotating five on, five off. Sam Colby led all scorers with 20 points and Rachel Sibbald added 12 points, as the Jags took the game 76-25.

Then, the girls headed to the mainland to compete at the Brittania Invitational Tournament. The tournament featured #4-ranked host Brittania, #8-ranked SMUS and two honourable mention teams in Windsor and GW Graham.

In the opening round game, SMUS made quick work of the Marlins from McNair. Up 25-10 at the quarter thanks to some timely drives and solid foul shooting by senior guard Erin Hope. Sophia Ducharme and Rachel Sibbald continued with the offensive onslaught, extending the halftime lead to 52-20. For the remainder of the game, the team focused on defense. Grade 11 players Emma Donald and Sam Colby played with tenacity on defense and took control of many loose balls.

In the end, 11 out of 14 Jags tallied points on the score sheet, resulting in a final score of 79-32. Grade 12 standout Abbey Piazza led all scorers with 15 points and was perfect from the foul line. Ducharme chipped in with 14 points and netted Player-of-the-Game honours. Erin Hope and Orla Glen finished with eight points each.

In the semifinal game, SMUS faced GW Graham of Chilliwack. The Grizzlies out-sized the Blue Jags in the post and boasted a hot three-point shooter. SMUS jumped out to the early lead with good ball distribution and attack of the Grizzlies’ press. Unfortunately, the 21-14 quarter-time lead would be the last time the Jags were out in front. Down by three points at the half, the Jags experienced a cold spell on offense. In the end, the Grizzlies size and rebounding advantage proved to be too much for the Jags to handle. SMUS lost 58-48. Piazza led the team with 16 points and Ducharme added 15 points. Ethel Kiggundu and Jenna Dhillon put forth a strong defensive effort in guarding the Grizzlies’ top shooter. Unfortunately, Grade 12 Orla Glen went down in the first half to an ankle injury and is expected to be out for 2-3 weeks.

This setup the 3rd/5th game against Byrne Creek of Burnaby and the Blue Jags played their best basketball of the season. The team saw contributions on both ends of the floor by all team members. Ducharme had 19 points and Piazza 35, continuing their hot shooting. Jenna Dhillon chipped in with nine points. Erin Hope and Emma Donald ramped up the defensive intensity all over the court. Final score: SMUS 73, Byrne Creek 50.

The team continues with more game action this week, hosting Parklands in league play on Tuesday night, followed by the Police Tournament on the weekend.

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