Story and Photos by Erich Eichhorn (ISN)
February 24, 2013. Victoria, BC – The South Island Boys AAA Highschool Basketball Playoffs were run this weekend at Reynolds High School where the Claremont Spartans would upset the highly-ranked Oak Bay Bays 62-50 to win the South Island Championships.
Reynolds High School Gymnasium was standing room only as fans packed the bleachers in eager anticipation of what was to become a challenging test between two teams that finished apart in the regular season standings by only one win.
Spartans Mason Loewen narrowly gets this jumper away from the outstretched arm of Bays Atlas St.Paul – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
Oak Bay had trouble early finding their rhythm from the field as the Spartans would take on an early 8-2 lead with the shooting magic of Caillum White and teammate Luke Collumbin. Both players found the net from behind the arc, putting pressure on the Bays to keep pace. The Bays would answer back with a a three point shot from Liam Horne to close the gap with their own offensive display, finishing the quarter down by 2 points, 12-10.
Oak Bay ‘s Matt Gray challenges two Spartans for the ball in an attempt to regain the lead – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
Both teams were looking to exploit the offensive inside game, attempt’s to travel into the painted area were met with aggressive defensive play, ball hustle, and hard fouls. Claremont continued to press in the second period to open up a 31-24 lead going into the locker room at the half.
Claremont’s #9 Caillum White and #32 Mason Loewen double team Mat Hampton, White would record his 3rd block of the period, stalling an Oak Bay comeback bid – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
Oak Bay stepped up to the challenge after the break, going on an 11-4 tear in the 3rd quarter, pressuring the Spartans ball carriers into a few untimely turnovers that would lift the resilient Bays back into the game. Their hard work brought them within one, and the Spartans found themselves holding onto a narrow 41-40 lead.
Oak Bay’s Liam Horne shoots over Yvan Atemgoua on the pull-up jumper, Horne would score 14 pointsin a loosing cause for the Bays – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
Claremont came out with their complete game in the final quarter, as their defensive pressure would break down the Bays. Spartans Caillum White commanded the paint in the fourth quarter, recording 3 blocked shots and denying Oak Bay any chance at a comeback bid.
South Island Allstars – left to right ( Claremont- Alex Jordache, Spectrum- Darian Vandermerwe, Claremont-Mason Loewen, Oak Bay-Jake Miller, Belmont-Kane Johnston, Oak Bay-Mat Hampton, Belmont-Owen Vaags, Oak Bay-Liam Horne, Mt.Doug-Harrison Mar, Belmont-Erik Spaven )
Spartans Mason Loewen was the dagger in Oak Bays comeback hopes as he would single-handedly outscore the Bays, scoring 13 of his team’s 21 points in the final frame, and finishing with a 26 point total for the game. The win would give the Claremont Spartans a 62-50 win, bragging rights as the best team in South Island, and a favorable seed going into next weekends Vancouver Island High School AAA Basketball Championships to be held at Mount Douglas High School.
In other action :
Belmont Bulldogs Win Consolation Over Mt.Doug Rams
Earlier, the Belmont Bulldogs survived a slow start against the Mt. Doug Rams to come from behind and take 3rd place with a 76-60 win in the South Island High School Basketball Playoffs.
MountDouglas Ram Ashton Mackinnon works his way to the net with Belmont’s Spaven guarding his every move – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
With the win the Bulldogs have a chance to draw a first game Island Final match against Dover Bay of Naniamo next weekend at Mount Douglas High School.
#2 Andres Marques of the Rams elevates around Spaven and Vaags of the Belmont Bulldogs – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
Daniel Massey would shine for the Bulldogs, scoring 15 points, including a total of 4 three-pointers in the second and third quarters to kick start a Belmont run, and the victory.
Bulldog’s Kane Johnston is rejected at the hoop by Rams forward – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
Belmont – Owen Vaags of Belmont – 17 points
Mt Doug – Adam Benrabah – 21 points