Much has occurred on the basketball front since the last Week In Review blog post.
The Junior boys, in the Oak Bay Invitational in December, played extremely well to finish third overall. In the process, the team gave eventual winners Vancouver College all they could handle in the semi-final.
Then, to kick off the new year, after an important league win at Claremont, the Blue Jags captured the Island Challenge Tournament with solid wins over Dover Bay, Spectrum and Lambrick Park. Jasper Bosley was adjudged the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, while Ben Keep was an All-Star and Quinn Ngawati the top rebounder.
The Junior girls opened 2015 by also taking part in the Island Challenge. While a lack of defensive intensity was evident in a loss to Dover Bay, the team bounced back to record a solid 45-29 victory over Spectrum. There was more encouraging play against Wellington, albeit in a 38-30 defeat. Taylor Noel, Alexa Matthews, Elise Lincoln, Jamie Bruynzeel and Emily Hodgins all performed consistently well in the tournament.
The Senior boys, still No. 2 in the provincial AA rankings, have played multiple games against top-ranked opposition, defeating AAAA No. 3 Walnut Grove at the Vancouver College Emerald Tournament as well as Saskatchewan AAAA No. 2 Holy Cross at the pre-Christmas Oak Bay event.
Other wins of note have included Semiahmoo, Cowichan and Nanaimo.
There have been some losses also, most notably a December 19 64-59 heart-breaker to AAAA No. 4 Vancouver College, and then two defeats on a Washington state trip, first to Port Angeles and then to a very talented Vashon Island crew.
Most recently, January 9 saw the expected fireworks versus crosstown rival Oak Bay, with the Bays prevailing at home 65-59. The two squads played extremely well in front of over 700 passionate, noisy supporters.
For those interested in full and timely recaps of every Senior team game, go to smusbasketball.blogspot.ca. Grade 12 student Mike Edwards provides very accurate summaries, along with pictures of and quotes from the players.
This week, in addition to a January 13 home league game versus Belmont, the team, along with the Senior girls, hosts the Victoria City Police Basketball Tournament.
The Senior girls were in action January 8-10 at the Notre Dame tournament in Vancouver. The team faced tough AA competition, with two opponents ranked in the B.C. top 10.
In the opening game, SMUS faced the host school. The Jugglers boasted a veteran squad, with a savvy pointguard running the show. Despite a slow start, the Blue Jags clawed back to 19-13 from a double-digit deficit. However, that would be as close as it would get, as the Jugglers ended up winning 62-39. Leah Sparkman led SMUS with nine points, while Olivia Donald and Aveen Glen added six apiece.
SMUS then played Britannia. Another slow start and too many turnovers against the Bruins’ aggressive press created problems in a 64-40 loss. Thana Fayad (15) Sparkman (7) and Robyn Noel (6) led the offence.
Finally, SMUS met GW Graham. Despite some early foul trouble, the Jags recovered to lead 37-34 in the third quarter. Unfortunately, the Grizzlies then put together a 15-0 run to effectively seal the game. Sparkman completed a solid tournament with an 11-point performance while Donald chipped in with nine.
The team will look to sharpen up this week with a league game versus Lambrick Park before taking part in the Police Tournament.