Second term sports got underway November 24, with many of the SMUS basketball teams in action.
The Senior boys, behind David Lee’s game high 19 points, recorded a comfortable mid-week win versus Belmont before heading to the Lower Mainland for the ISA “A” competition. In this event, with Jason Scully, Jake Wilmott and Max Pollen spearheading the attack, the team defeated Shawnigan in opening round action.
The next day also had its moments, although SMUS fell in the semifinals to St. George’s. Somewhat surprisingly, the Blue Jags, up 47-34 and in control mid-way through the third quarter, then completely lost any rhythm at both ends of the floor. The Saints, shooting well, roared back to claim a well-deserved victory.
In the bronze medal game, SMUS recovered to a degree, even if again surrendering three double-digit leads. In the end, it required a Lee bucket from in close with three seconds remaining to secure a narrow 61-59 win.
With a third-place win, the Blue Jags tumbled in the AA provincial rankings, dropping from top spot to 5th. What is abundantly clear at this early stage of the season is that, unlike a year ago, multiple teams across BC have a legitimate chance to win the AA title.
SMUS looks ahead to a busy and challenging week, with visits from Claremont, AAA No.1-ranked St. Thomas More and AA No. 4 R.C. Palmer.
The development squad also attended an ISA tournament, but faced a rearranged “three games in one day” scenario after one team was forced into a late withdrawal. Shaco Chi, Jonas Robinson and Timmy Qi led the way in games versus Southpointe, Meadowridge and Stratford Hall.
At Junior boys level, after an opening night victory over Belmont, SMUS traveled to Nanaimo for the VIU Invitational. On Day 1, after beating Carihi, the Blue Jags went back and forth before upending Dover Bay by a single point. The next morning, the team dropped a very competitive game against Oak Bay in the semifinals, before bouncing back to drop Nanaimo District Secondary 44-31 and claim third place.
Overall, this was a very pleasing start, with Quinn Ngawati, Jasper Bosley, Jamison Schulz-Franco and Ben Keep in good form.
Meanwhile, the Senior girls started their campaign with an exhibition against AAA powerhouse Claremont. The Spartans provided a tough challenge, with SMUS struggling somewhat on offence in a 62-47 loss. Olivia Donald finished with 10 points and made some strong defensive plays. Then, in a 54-39 win versus Spectrum, Leah Sparkman contributed eight steals and led all scorers with 20 points. Post Thana Fayad, new to the game, continues to improve with each outing and could be a dominant inside presence by the end of the year.
Next up are games versus Oak Bay and Mount Douglas, with the team then off to Vancouver for the ISAs.