Erich Eichhorn (ISN) – Oak Bay Bays defeated the Dover Bay Dolphins 98-68 Saturday night at Mt. Douglas Gymnasium to reclaim the 2014-2015 Vancouver Island 4A Boys’s High School Hoops crown.
Oak Bay Bays’ 2014-2015 Vancouver Island 4a Boys’ High School Basketball Champions – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
You have to go back three years to remember Oak Bay’s 2012 Island Championship victory, taking their 19th Island title by defeating the Belmont Bulldogs 68-60. With grins from ear to ear on the floor from the Bays players you can sense that nothing could have been sweeter than sitting back on top, winning an unprecedented 20th championship since the inception of high school basketball records in 1951.
Oak Bays’ Atlas St.Paul-Butler (left) and Dover Bays’ Jeff Webb (right) start the game with the jump ball – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Dover Bay came to Vancouver Island’s big show with some history in their back pocket as well. The Dolphins met Oak Bay in this years final, appearing in their fourth island championship., the last time was in 2011 when they won their third island title in five years.
Ryan MacDonald of Dover Bay Dolphins is challenged to utherwise a clear path layup by Atlas St. Paul-Butler – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Even before the opening tip off many expected the undefeated Oak Bay team would be a runaway train, showing the mostly partisan crowd why they were seeded number one. Oak Bay would look to give their fans early what they expected, opening up a 7 point lead highlighted by a dunk off a steal by Bays’ Atlas St. Paul-Butler to go up 11-4. Dover Bay would later capitalize on some uncharacteristic turnovers by the starting five veterans of Oak Bay. Both teams would trade the conventional 2-pt buckets, as Oak Bay, unable to score from behind the arc, would hold the narrow 23-17 lead at the end of the opening period.
By half way through the second period, Dover Bay had pared Oak Bay’s lead to just 3 points as Oak Bay, appearing vulnerable for the first time this season, until Bays’ Jared Touchie would break the ice with the Bays’ first 3 pointer in the game at the 7 minute mark of the period. Oak Bay would open up 10 point lead with 4:36 remaining, taking the same lead into the dressing room at the half up 44-34.
Oak Bay Bays Matt Gray splits the defense on his way to 2 more points in the final game – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Dover Bay would appear as if they were standing still coming out to start the third period. Unable to convert on their opportunities, Oak Bay showing the greater pace, would start to exact their control on the flow on the game. Highlighted by the play of Oak Bays’ Atlas St. Paul-Butler, Oak Bay would start to dominate defensively, pressing the Dolphins at every opportunity. St. Paul Butler’s defensive play, combined with a jam over a Dover player on an offensive rebound, would bring cheering fans to their feet.
Voted the tournament MVP, the 6’7” Atlas St.Paul-Butler would comment post game when asked how his team was able to turn the corner in the second half to take command of the game. “Coach just told us to calm down. We were a little shaky (to start). Once we calmed down we were less timid and took control of it (the game)”.
Atlas St.Paul-Butler of the Oak Bay Bays , Island MVP of the tournament, holds his harware for his efforts – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Dover Bays’ spirited effort would not be enough to continue to hold Oak Bay down for long. Oak Bay would go on a 29-15 run in the third to all but dash the hopes of the visiting opposition with an end of third period score 73-49.
Dover Bay would try valiantly to recover in the fourth, but the mountain was just to big to climb. Oak Bay Coach Chris Franklin would empty his bench in half way through the final period to end the game with a 98-68-championship victory.
Coach Chris Franklin (left) and Asst. Coach Rob Parris hold the Coaches Sheild trophy for thier efforts – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
When asked about the championship win the Grade 12 St. Paul-Butler would add, “ I’ve been waiting a long time for it. We worked hard. We’ve been practicing and training hard for this (win).”