Athletics Week in Review: December 10

The past two weeks have been extremely busy, with volleyball and soccer contesting their respective provincial championships while winter term sports, most notably basketball, have kicked quickly into high gear.

Basketball

Basketball got underway on many fronts. A shorthanded Senior Boys group found the going tough at the prestigious Howard Tsumura Invitational in Langley. The event featured all the top AAA and AAAA teams in BC, with SMUS dropping all four of its games. Will Kinahan and Karter Fry both battled hard, while the many Grade 11s in the squad gained valuable experience. The team opens league play December 10 versus Vic High before travelling to Chilliwack for the GW Graham Tournament.

The Senior Girls opened their league campaign with a double OT loss to Glenlyon Norfolk School, before winning one of three games at the ISAs en route to a 6th place finish. Claudia Murr and Grace Vickers played well. The squad closes out pre-Christmas play this week with a game against Parkland.

A talented Junior Girls team recorded five consecutive victories to start the season, defeating Mount Douglas and Royal Bay in league play before sweeping an exhibition series on the Lower Mainland versus Notre Dame, Heritage Woods and South Delta. Lauren Rust and Makena Anderson both averaged 14 points per game, while Brianne McLeish, Sophie Olcen and Jojo Tupas-Singh forced many steals with their full-court pressure.

A young Junior Boys outfit also moved to 2-0 in league play, by virtue of their wins over Mount Douglas and Royal Bay. SMUS found the going tougher in Nanaimo, with a win against Wellington balanced by losses to Mark R. Isfeld and Dover Bay. Point guard Will Robinson displayed some slick ball handling and passing, with Jonathan Nguyen showing a hot hand from the perimeter.

Congratulations to all 72 athletes who formed the Middle School hoop squads during their recent City competitions.

First, the favoured Grade 7-8 Girls team lived up to expectations, romping unbeaten through league play before defeating Colquitz, Royal Oak and Cedar Hill in the playoffs. In the final, the bulk of Katie M.’s 18 points sparked the Blue Jags to a 48-30 triumph. The team now sets it sights on the BC tournament in the spring, with Katie M., Chioma D., Alex M., Olivia V., Jenna R., Madeleine A., Coco W., Charlie A. and Avery G. all set to play important roles.

The Grade 7 Boys matched the above achievement, also going undefeated in league play before dispatching Dunsmuir 50-21 in the semi-finals. In the championship match against Arbutus, some SMUS nerves and early foul trouble allowed Dunsmuir breathing room. However, in the end, dominant defence in the fourth quarter proved to be the difference as the Blue Jags turned a narrow four-point lead into a comfortable 18-point win. Well done to team members Jacob M., Will P., Harry R., Jack D., Brody H., Noel R., Wil W., Connor K., Zaki P. and Elliot M..

The Grade 6-7 Girls team wrapped up a successful season with a thrilling bronze medal victory over Lansdowne. Trailing by five points with a few minutes to play, SMUS, behind Elliana L., Emily W., Molly P., Caitlyn M. and Kiyomi N., rallied to snatch a one-point win. The above quintet were well supported by Mya B., Nicola B., Clara C., Maia H. and Willow T.

Cross Country

Grade 10 student Tion McLeish competed in the U16 boys event at the Canadian Cross Country Championships in Abbotsford in late November. Facing off against the best young runners in Canada, 15-year-old McLeish ran the 4-km course in a blistering 12:58.93, winning the event by 1/100th of a second. The national title for McLeish came just weeks after winning the provincial Junior Boys title.

Rugby

Congratulations to Grade 12 athlete Chloe Hill-Huse on being named to Canada’s U18 women’s rugby team that will travel to California this month to compete in the 2019 Can-Am series. Team Canada will face off in two games against Team USA on December 28 and 30.

Soccer

Senior Boys Soccer entered its BC tournament with high hopes. The opening game saw the favoured Blue Jags fall 2-1 to South Kamloops. Andres Vega Perez scored the lone goal in that game, then added another to tallies by Callum Colgate and Ben Shaw in a 3-1 victory over College Heights.

This meant that an upset win over powerful Notre Dame would be needed to top the pool and reach the semi-final. However, it was not to be, as the Jugglers (who subsequently claimed the provincial title) won that game 3-0.

In the 9-12 bracket, SMUS conceded three quick goals to lose 3-2 to Hugh McRoberts. In the 11-12 game against Nelson’s LV Rogers, the team, thanks to goals by Colgate, Gavin Banting, Will Kinahan and Vega Perez, completed the season in 11th place with a 4-1 victory.

Volleyball

The Senior Boys featured in multiple close games at provincials en route to a 13th place overall finish.

A narrow victory over Hugh McRoberts was sandwiched by equally close losses to Duchess Park and Surrey Christian School, as SMUS finished 1-2 in pool play.

In crossover action the following day, a bright start versus Pacific Academy was not rewarded, as the Breakers won three straight sets. Then came a 27-29, 26-28 heart-breaker to WL Seaton. With Karter Fry, Peter King and Ben Beattie providing some huge kills, SMUS looked on the verge of an upset win. However, in the end, Seaton’s defence held firm.

The season finished on a high note, as the Blue Jags then accounted for both Alpha and Sir Charles Tupper. Setter Kyle Stenberg was in fine form, while all the seniors completed their careers with solid performances.

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