Though, by mid-December, the thoughts of most SMUS students had turned to the holiday break, many of the school basketball teams were still competing across the city and province in a number of league games and invitational tournaments.
The Junior boys, in a solid start to their season, currently sit in second place at 4-1 in league play, with the sole defeat a one-point heart breaker to Claremont. On the tournament circuit, the team won the Nanaimo Invitational prior to the break before then taking part in the Vancouver College Emerald event.
In this prestigious competition, late leads unfortunately melted away in narrow losses to BC No. 7 ranked Abbotsford and then McNair. However, the Blue Jags did take out local rival Oak Bay. While the team, led by Izzy Helman and Tadeo Allerding, has shown great offensive ability, more defensive consistency will be needed come playoff time.
The Junior boys development team had a slow start last week against Claremont, suffering a 67-37 defeat. SMUS now meets up with Oak Bay on January 16 before travelling to the Grade 9 Emerald tournament at Vancouver College.
At the Senior boys level, an injury riddled SMUS squad struggled through the pre-Christmas phase, with a sole win over Clarence Fulton to show for its troubles. However, improved health, most notably in the return of point guard Ty Olynyk from ankle issues, in addition to fine play from Noah Helman and Tristan Kuhn, have produced three wins out of four so far in 2019. The most important victory came against Lambrick Park, with the two teams always so closely matched, going neck-and-neck before the Blue Jags triumphed 69-64.
Meanwhile, the Senior girls opened league play January 8 at Pacific Christian School in top form, starting strongly en route to a 73-46 victory. Then, in the Archbishop Carney tournament, the team won two of its three games, claiming a hard-fought one-point win versus Abbotsford Christian before then falling in a closely contested semi-final to Charles Best.
Playing for the bronze medal, SMUS, producing its most complete game of the season, dropped the hosts 62-47. Zoe Lott was named to the tournament All-Star team, while Isabella Leong’s tenacious defense throughout was invaluable.
Both Senior teams host the annual Police Tournament January 17-19. The boys open against JH Bruns of Winnipeg, while the girls meet Oak Bay.
The Junior girls also enjoyed a solid return from the break, picking up league victories over Royal Bay and Stelly’s respectively. After a narrow loss to Belmont in the Island Challenge, the team bounced back to defeat both Dover Bay and NDSS to place fifth. Claudia Murr performed extremely well throughout the week.
On the Alumni front, huge congratulations are due to Callum Montgomery. The 2015 grad, after a stellar academic and soccer career at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, was named an NCAA Division 1 First team Soccer All-American, while also being named both a Conference USA All-Star and Defensive Player of the Year. Then, to cap it all, he was chosen fourth overall by FC Dallas in the recent Major League Soccer (MLS) Super Draft.