Before the winter holiday break was over, numerous SMUS basketball teams were back in action early in the new year.
Pride of place went to the Senior girls, who captured the Wellington Superball Tournament in Nanaimo. Sustained defensive pressure and 14 points from Aveen Glen paid off as SMUS beat a scrappy Dover Bay squad 44-42 in the quarterfinals. Then, with the offence getting untracked, Georgia Haydock’s 11 points led five scorers in double figures as the Blue Jags coasted by D.W. Poppy of Langley.
SMUS squared off with Stelly’s in the final. On the day, the Stingers were not able to handle the Blue Jags’ defensive intensity. On her way to MVP honours, Glen led all scorers with 14 points, while All-Stars Mia Roberts and Leah Sparkman each added 10.
Up next for SMUS is a league encounter today (January 12) at Parkland. The team then hosts the January 14-16 Victoria City Police Tournament.
On January 3 and 4, the Senior boys hosted the SMUS Invitational, with Oak Bay, the visiting Harry Ainlay Titans (Edmonton) and the Winston Churchill Bulldogs (Lethbridge) completing a talented four-team field. The opportunity to play two games at the new CARSA facility at UVic was an added bonus, with the Blue Jags finally finding the range from deep to upend the Bulldogs 68-61. The nightcap, pitting B.C. AAAA No. 2-ranked Oak Bay against Alberta’s AAAA No. 1-ranked Titans, was a thrilling contest from start to finish, with Ainlay edging 78-71 by virtue of some key late hoops.
With the scene shifting back to SMUS for Day 2, Ainlay captured the title with wins over Churchill and, not without a real struggle, SMUS.
SMUS then returned to league action versus Belmont. Unfortunately, while some promising Jags’ play produced an 11-point lead after three quarters, the Bulldogs chipped away and recovered to triumph 72-71. Ryan Hindson led all scorers with 23 points, while Alec Keech recorded a career high 17. The team now looks forward to the Victoria City Police Tournament and an opening round matchup versus H.J. Cambie.
At the Junior level, the boys “A” team, behind Matt Hagkull’s 16 points, defeated Reynolds in a league matchup. The team then traveled to the Vancouver College Emerald event, balancing a solid win over Port Moody against narrow defeats to Terry Fox and Pitt Meadows. Triumph Kerins and Taevon Downey both performed well.
The girls fell to a talented Royal Bay in their league opener, but bounced back with a solid fourth-place finish in the Island Challenge tournament. Meredith Selwood, Taylor Noel and Emily Stone sparked the offence in a win over G.P. Vanier, with the team then competing well against mainland powers Sullivan Heights and St. Thomas More.
The Junior boys development squad shook off the holiday rust with an exciting 36-34 victory over Claremont. The hustle of Amrit Saini and Amos Chen was rewarded when Mohata Ahmed nailed the deciding hoop as time expired.