Another busy sporting week saw the Senior girls team capture another title, this time after going unbeaten at the Southridge KFACE (Kenya Foundation to Aid Children Through Education) tournament.
Led by MVP Georgia Haydock, who averaged a double-double, and all-star Leah Sparkman, SMUS first dispatched Argyle 59-37 to set up a semifinal versus last season’s B.C. AA finalist, Little Flower Academy.
Up 10 points entering the fourth quarter, the Blue Jags saw a very messy period result in a three-point deficit with just over two minutes to play. However, key hoops by Haydock and Sparkman made the difference in a narrow 45-44 victory.
The final set up a rematch versus Southridge. Though down 13-7 after one quarter, SMUS tightened the screws defensively over the final 30 minutes to ease home quite comfortably 41-24. Aveen Glen, with 10 points, was a key contributor.
At the Junior girls level, after a key league win versus Oak Bay and a baptism of fire in a highly competitive Walnut Grove tournament, SMUS competed in the ISAs at York House. A fine fourth quarter, spearheaded by Jessica Lineham, allowed the Jags to break open a close affair en route to a 48-33 win over Crofton House.
Following a second pool success, this time versus Shawnigan, the team faced off against Brentwood in the semi-final. Some excellent team defence, with Emily Stone at the fore, saw SMUS advance 36-26.
The defensive tone continued in a fast and physical final versus the host Tigers. Zoe Lott’s game-high 15 points and more excellent all round play by MVP Taylor Noel proved to be enough as SMUS triumphed 31-21.
The Senior boys were involved in a very competitive series of games, all with B.C. ranking implications. First, SMUS squared off in exhibition play versus AA No. 1 GW Graham of Chilliwack. In a very gritty performance, the Blue Jags stayed level with their more fancied opponents for three quarters, before falling away somewhat in the final stanza.
Then, in the Countdown to the Playoffs tournament held at Brentwood College, the team went 3-1, recording victories over Langley Christian, Wellington and Shawnigan. Unfortunately, in the semi-final versus unbeaten (and B.C. AAA No. 2) Mark Isfeld, SMUS saw a 15-point third-quarter lead evaporate en route to losing 54-48. Ice cold shooting in the fourth quarter proved too much to overcome, despite the best efforts of all-stars Ryan Hindson and Jamison Schulz-Franco.
Nonetheless, this series of strong performances have seen the Blue Jags climb back to No. 3 in the provincial AA poll.
The Junior boys split key league games versus Lambrick Park and Claremont, before going 1-2 in the Cowichan tournament. In the game versus the host Thunderbirds, SMUS, with Triumph Kerins, Ephraim Hsu and Matt Hagkull combining for 45 points, performed extremely well to record a 68-48 upset. The team now concludes league play with match-ups versus Oak Bay and Belmont before starting City playoffs on February 9.
At the ISA Squash tournament, SMUS won two of the three championships on offer, with the girls and Junior boys claiming gold medals, while the Senior boys finished second.
The girls competition was highlighted by a wonderful match between Grace Thomas and Shawnigan’s top player. In front of a large crowd, Thomas won in four sets and set the table for teammates Brooke Herring, Madison Liew, Sun-Eui Choi and Alex Brown. Indeed, the SMUS second team of Flora Feng, Rachel Yuen, Sara Cui, Charlotte Campbell and Katie Rothwell also won all its matches.
The Junior boys, featuring Matias Totz, Christian Yuen, Seung Choi, Matthew Wong and Phillip Sing went 9-1 in their matches versus St. Georges and Shawnigan, while seniors Jason Yoo and Euan Hannigan led the way at Senior level.
While the spring season is still some months away, Ryan Totz finished second in the 75 kg high school division at the UVic Monster Erg Competition.
Also, alumnus Matt Rud ’14, in his first ever erg competition and brand new to the sport, blew away the field in the Men’s Novice section, completing the 2000 meters in an impressive 6.23.
The 1st XV, defending B.C. AA champions, open their 2016 campaign on Feb. 15 against Marin County from California. Seniors Jonas Robinson and Josh Graffi have been in fine form and provide solid leadership. Also, some 25 athletes have been training hard as SMUS readies for its first ever season in the girls division.
Finally, congratulations to Luke McCloskey ’10, who won his first national 7s cap when representing Canada this past weekend in the World Rugby series event in Wellington, New Zealand. He will be joined on the team this week in Sydney, Australia by fellow 2010 grad Mike Fuailefau.