Athletics Week in Review: January 29

Basketball

The Junior Girls Basketball team very much continued flying the flag for SMUS, first beating Belmont 60-40 in a key league game before setting off for Langley to compete in a provincial qualifier at Brookswood. With an automatic berth to provincials on the line, the Blue Jags were primed for some tough competition.

In the first of three games, SMUS flexed its muscles, with Makena Anderson, Lauren Rust, Jojo Tupas-Singh and Brianne McLeish all scoring in double figures in a comprehensive victory over Kamloops’s Valleyview. In what was very much a team triumph over the course of the weekend, Sophie Olcen, Josie Hallatt, Emma Curry, Anna Fowler, Amanda Adams and Skye Farish all chipped in with timely hoops and solid defence.

In the semi-final, versus a feisty and physical Mennonite Educational Institute squad, SMUS’s superior fitness and relentless pressure wore down the Eagles. A 26-20 half-time lead, despite some wayward shooting, was enough of a cushion, with the Blue Jags eventually cruising home 47-29.

The win set up a much anticipated final against the host Bobcats, who entered the event as the No. 2 seed in the province. In a wonderful game, full of ebb and flow, SMUS led 18-12 after one quarter, then 24-23 at half, and 40-39 entering the last eight minutes. Once again, fitness and high-level defence were the difference, with some crucial Anderson baskets then enough to confirm a fine 63-53 victory.

Anderson was voted to the tournament All-star team while Rust garnered MVP honours.

SMUS now returns home for league games versus Stelly’s and Claremont before returning to the Lower Mainland for their ISA championships.

At the Senior Girls level, the Blue Jags won a close league tussle with Spectrum, edging home 57-50 thanks to a strong offensive display by Claudia Murr. Slow starts in two subsequent exhibitions, versus Wellington and Highland, proved too much to overcome, though Yukina Hashimoto performed well.

The boys squads struggled through a difficult week, as the Senior Boys, despite a competitive effort, slipped in the final minutes to lose 64-61 at Lambrick Park. Karter Fry led the way with 18 points before departing with an ankle sprain. This injury certainly did not help the cause days later versus Island AAA No. 1 Ladysmith. Despite the best efforts of Will Kinahan and Eddie Kim, the 49ers gave a polished display in a 73-44 win.

Likewise, the Junior Boys found the going tough at the Claremont Tournament, falling to BC No. 3 Handsworth and then Semiahmoo on Day 1. Ty Driscoll and Albert Barze battled hard in trying circumstances. The team returns to league action this week versus Stelly’s.

Squash

In Squash, SMUS dominated the ISA Tournament, with the Senior Boys defeating both Brentwood College and Shawnigan Lake School 4-1 to win the title. At the Junior Boys level, the SMUS A and B teams also beat Brentwood and Shawnigan to place first and second. Congratulations to all for a series of fine performances.

Next up for the team is the Pacific Northwest Invitational tournament in mid-February.

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