Basketball again took the main stage, with the South Island and full Island championships happening in recent weeks.
Cementing their reputation as one of the elite teams in the province, the Junior Girls romped to a first-ever SMUS Island title. The Blue Jags first took out GP Vanier 51-23, then dispatched Alberni District Secondary 58-32 in the semi-final.
In the championship match, SMUS, versus local rival Belmont, blitzed out to a 19-8 first quarter lead and never looked back. Up 35-16 at halftime, and with all team members featuring on the score sheet, the Jags cruised home by 30 points.
Jojo Tupas-Singh was voted the tournament’s Top Defensive Player, with Lauren Rust named to the All-Star team. Makena Anderson, who capped a very solid weekend with 21 points in the final, was awarded the MVP.
Now comes the acid test, with the team seeded No. 3 in this week’s provincial tournament in Langley.
The Junior Girls Development squad completed an undefeated league season with a 54-35 victory over Oak Bay, and then opened City playoffs with a resounding 54-18 win over St. Margaret’s School. Alienor de Nanteuil, Talia Pike and Olivia Kiedaisch led the scoring, while the whole team contributed to two stingy defensive efforts.
The Senior Girls were less fortunate, as their season came to an end in the Islands. A dominant Ballenas post proved too difficult to handle in the opening game, with SMUS falling 80-63. The team, after building a 20-point lead, held on for a narrow victory over Esquimalt. However, a subsequent loss to a deeper and more experienced GP Vanier knocked the Blue Jags from the tournament.
The Senior Boys picked the right time to catch fire, winning six consecutive games en route to capturing both the South Island and full Island AAA titles. In the latter event, victories over Carihi (70-52), Mark R. Isfeld (73-50) and John Barsby (65-55) featured dominant play from MVP Karter Fry. Will Kinahan and Ethan Brownsey were each selected as 1st team All-Stars while Ben Beattie, Kyle Ferguson, Allistair Catto and Eddie Kim likewise made big contributions.
SMUS now awaits a final seeding from the BC committee, with the provincial AAA tournament set to run March 4-7 at the Langley Events Centre.
At the Middle School level, the Grade 8 Girls team has had a stellar season and post-season. This week the team is in Abbotsford competing at the Grade 8 provincial championships.
With spring sports set to begin early next month, all eyes will soon be turning to the annual Boot games. This Senior Girls and Senior Boys rugby matches against Oak Bay will be played at UVic’s Centennial Stadium on Thursday, March 12.
The girls compete to hold on to the Robinson Cup at 5:45 pm, followed by the boys’ quest to recapture the Rees Boot Cup at 6:30 pm.
A number of our athletes competed in the locally hosted BC Jesters Pacific Northwest Junior Squash Championships, which draws squash players from Canada, Washington and Oregon. The Blue Jags competed well in the tournament, with strong showings by Anderson B. (5th, Boys U13), Lucas Q. (7th, Boys U15), Oliver Kerr (6th, Boys U17), Christian Yuen (4th, Boys U19), Jay Herring (8th, Boys U19), Sofia Quon (6th, Girls U17) and Alex Brown (5th, Girls U19).
Next up for our squash team is the BC Junior Closed Provincial Championships running March 6-8 in Richmond.