The Senior boys basketball team took part in the Island AA tournament February 26-28 at Kwalikum, registering three comprehensive victories to capture the title. In its opener, SMUS easily handled Ladysmith, running out to an early lead en route to a 69-40 win.
Next up was Brentwood, with provincial qualification on the line. In a dominating defensive performance, the Blue Jags held their up-Island rivals scoreless for more than 14 minutes in the middle section of the game. The 64-22 victory then led to a final match versus the host Condors.
Kwalikum, in its semifinal, had provided the shock result in the competition, recovering from a six-point halftime deficit to beat Lambrick Park 43-39. However, any thought of a similar upset the following night just was not going to happen, as SMUS, despite some early foul trouble, gained a 21-10 first quarter lead. From there it was smooth sailing, as the Jags followed through strongly to triumph 73-36. Go to smusbasketball.blogspot.ca for full, in-depth accounts of the three games.
Balance, in terms of offence, defence and rebounding, proved the key to success. Jason Scully was named MVP, with Graeme Hyde-Lay and Jake Wilmott tournament all-stars. However, the considerable contributions of Matty McColl, Callum Montgomery, Max Pollen and Liam Catto were as important and crucial. Also, David Lee, Alex Caton, Lucas De Vries, Alec Keech and Angus Catto chipped in effectively during their time on the court.
By claiming the championship, its third Island title in the past four years, SMUS now enters the BC AA finals as No. 1 seed. The team will meet Mount Elizabeth of Kitimat in opening-round play on March 11 at the Langley Events Centre.
The Junior boys took part in their provincial event in Langley this week too. In Round One, the team rode the hot shooting of Ben Keep and Jasper Bosley, in addition to some timely buckets by Gabe Kingsley-Nyinah, to stun heavily favored No. 5 seed W.J. Mouat 66-61.
Then, in the round of 16, SMUS battled powerful Rick Hansen Secondary on even terms for three quarters, before falling 59-44. Bosley and Jamison Schulz-Franco performed well.
More inspired play by Keep was then a key factor in the best win of the season, as the team overcame a double-digit deficit to dump Lord Tweedsmuir 63-57. Bryn Haydock provided some key rebounds and steals, while Triumph Kerins potted four important baskets to help spark the comeback.
Again giving away a great deal in terms of height and weight, SMUS then fell to Sentinel and Vancouver College to finish 12th in the competition. This, however, given the team’s No. 28 starting point, represented the greatest jump in seeding of any team in the tournament.
Certainly, the entire squad can reflect positively on the season as a whole. The significant improvement shown, from early November to the end of February, suggests that SMUS can remain among the province’s elite squads in the years to come.
As the hoop season draws to a close, spring sport is set to get underway. Congratulations to both Lucas De Vries and Jonas Robinson, who are representing Canada West U17 in rugby matches against Canada East. The remainder of the SMUS senior squad took on Brentwood this week, and, led by scrum half Carson Smith, ran in six tries to record a comfortable 36-0 victory. The team has further exhibitions against Spectrum, Sardis and GNS, before departing March 14 for a two-week tour of Spain and Portugal.
Finally, in Senior girls soccer action, the Blue Jags fell 3-0 to a powerful and well-drilled Stelly’s unit. Taylor Noel and Claudia Wheler both played strong games. The team moves on to a March 5 exhibition versus Reynolds.