With Spring Break on the horizon, there was just enough time for a few sporting events to conclude the winter term.
The Senior girls traveled to Langley at the start of the month for the AA Provincials. Seeded No. 15 in the 16-team event, the Blue Jags faced highly regarded Langley Christian in the opening game. The team, led by Taylor Noel, battled hard but were relegated to the consolation side of the draw with a loss.
A better effort the following day versus Duchess Park was undone by poor free throw shooting. Emily Stone was named the SMUS Player of the Game.
The players rebounded on Day 3 with a 57-48 victory over Charles Hays of Prince Rupert. Meredith Selwood sparked the Blue Jags to an early lead they never relinquished.
The final game of the season saw a match-up against College Heights of Prince George. In a see-saw battle, SMUS, with Zoe Lott in fine form, trailed by just three points halfway through the final quarter. However, some costly turnovers and missed shots proved too much to overcome in a 64-44 defeat.
Overall, given that only post Laura Williams will be lost to graduation, the tournament was a great experience for a young team.
The Senior boys competed in its provincial finals, hoping to improve on last season’s silver medal finish. Seeded No. 3, in its first outing, SMUS recorded a straightforward 90-51 victory over Vanderhoof’s Nechako Valley.
This win placed the Blue Jags into the quarterfinals versus St. Patrick’s, a small, feisty and lightning-quick team from Vancouver. Though up 31-16 late in the second quarter, SMUS had all sorts of problems with the Celtics’ press. Indeed, the game was tied early in the fourth period before order was restored. Ben Keep’s performance was particularly significant, with the shooting guard scoring 32 points, including 10 three-pointers!
The semi-final featured a match-up versus No. 2 seed King George, who had beaten SMUS 52-50 in the Police Tournament back in January. Again SMUS took control early on, leading 33-26 at halftime and then 49-33 with nine minutes remaining.
Kudos to the Dragons, who mounted a furious comeback. What would have been a late game-tying three-pointer hit the back rim and bounced away, allowing SMUS to triumph 59-55 and advance to the final.
In the AA championship game for a remarkable fourth consecutive year, SMUS aimed to engineer an upset over top seed Brentwood College. A superb first half, featuring stingy defence and opportunistic shooting saw the Blue Jags reach intermission up 31-20.
Alas, this position was not to last, as Brentwood’s superior size and depth began to tell. Slowly but surely the lead evaporated, as the Mill Bay crew edged in front for the first time, 41-40, with six minutes remaining.
The Blue Jags couldn’t quite manage to make a key shot or secure a key defensive rebound. A killer three-pointer with three minutes left took the score to 48-42 and, in the end, proved decisive.
Nonetheless, SMUS could hold its head high, having given everything. Congratulations to all the players for their efforts. For a second consecutive year, Ryan Hindson and Jamison Schulz-Franco were named B.C. Tournament All-Stars, while Jasper Bosley, Sammy De Vries, Bryn Haydock, Quinn Ngawati and Keep all played significant minutes and contributed a great deal.
On the alumni front, congratulations to 2016 grad Mia Roberts, who, as a member of the Camosun College women’s basketball team, was named the PACWEST Rookie of the Year.
Our spring rowers enjoyed their first competition of the spring season, taking part in a regatta at Elk Lake. In keeping with the weather of the previous months, the crews were greeted by both snow and heavy rain, but all made light of the challenging conditions.
Overall, SMUS performed very well, winning four races, in addition to claiming two second-place and two third-place finishes. Several other boats finished just outside the medals, which is most encouraging in advance of the upcoming holiday training camp and first April competition at Maple Bay.
Check out more photos of the Elk Lake Regatta, courtesy of parent Angela Gage, at the SMUS Photo Gallery.
Both the girls and boys rugby seasons got underway, with Belmont and Glenlyon Norfolk School paying a visit to the school for exhibition action.
Alums Mike Fuailefau and Luke McCloskey (both from the class of 2010) represented Canada with distinction at both the Las Vegas and Vancouver 7s tournaments. The latter event was absolutely spectacular, with the SMUS grads showing their paces over the two-day event in front of huge crowds.