Story and Photos by Erich Eichhorn ( ISN)
February 19, 2012 Victoria, BC (ISN) – It would take until the last two minutes of regular season play Monday night to decide second place in the Lower Vancouver Island AAA Boys Basketball League.
Claremont Spartans would defeat the Belmont Bulldogs 65-59 in front of a raucous student body at Claremont High School Gymnasium.
Belmont’s #14 Daniel Massey meets some stiff Claremont defence driving to the hoop. Massey would also provide some dfense of his own early, drawing 3 charging calls against the Spartans – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
Both teams came into this game with identical win-loss records, but Belmont would hold second place on an early season 74-67 win against the Spartans. With first place locked down by Oak Bay, both teams took to the court in what felt more like a playoff atmosphere than a regular season game, with 2nd place bragging rights on the line.
The Spartans front line crash the boards, pulling the ball down into their possesion – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
Belmont’s Owen Vaags would come out red-hot in the first quarter, surprising the Spartans defense with his cool, outside shooting, putting up eleven of his teams fifteen points in the first frame. Claremont’s #9 C.White would do a great job keeping the ball out of the hands of the Bulldog’s Spaven, keeping him under wraps most of the period. The Bulldog’s would silence the partisan Spartans crowd with a 15-4 lead at the end of the first period.
Bulldog’s #16 Spaven beats Spartans #9 C.White to the hoop, Spaven would score 15 points in a losing cause for his Bulldogs – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
Claremont would dig deep in the second period, getting back into the game as #3 A. Jordache came off the bench to ignite a Spartans offense with eight points of the utilitarian nature. Claremont scored the first ten points of the period before Belmont would reply with their own 14-0 run.
Claremont’s #13 J. Green has his eye on the ball and two points as a pair of Belmont defenders challenge him in the paint – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
Seven players would figure in Claremont’s scoring, while Belmont’s success would be limited to Vaags and Spaven as Claremont’s would start to solve the Bulldog game plan on some aggressive defensive play. Claremont would go into the locker room with a 29-26 lead on a strong team effort.
#3 A. Jordache drive past Erik Spaven on his way to the rim, Jordache would come off the bench to score 21 points for his Spartans – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
Claremont continued to contest the Bulldogs shot in the second half. They found themselves in foul trouble much of the second half, putting the body on the Bulldogs offense, it would appear to start to tire the Belmont game.
Bulldog’s Erik Spaven drives past the outstretched arm of a Spartans defender – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
Both teams played give and take much of the half, tying 57-57 at the 1:59 mark of the fourth quarter. Claremont and Belmont fans, friends and family alike, would find themselves sitting on the edge of their seats.
Belmont’ Owen Vaags shot the lights out in the first period, scoring 11 of his game high 24 points in the opening frame – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
Two untimely Belmont turnovers late would break the Bulldog’s back as the Spartans capitalize at the other end scoring seven points in that time period, including a dagger-like three pointer by #11 L. Collumbin to seal the win and second place finish for the Claremont Spartans.
High Scorers: Belmont – Owen Vaags 24 pts
Claremont – A.Jordache 21 pts