Harry Ainlay Rolls on at SMUS Invitational

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Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

January 4, 2015, Victoria, BC (ISN) – Edmonton’s Harry Ainlay Titans are the #1 rated AAAA Senior Boys high school basketball team in Alberta for a reason. After knocking off the talented Oak Bay Bays 78-71 on Sunday night, the Titans rolled over their Alberta counterparts, Lethbridge’s Sir Winston Churchill Bulldogs, 105-65 on Monday morning to run their record to 2-0 at the 2016 St. Michael’s University School (SMUS) Invitational Senior Boys Basketball Tournamant being hosted by SMUS in Victoria.

Harry Ainlay’s Aher Uguak (8) heads to the hoop for two of his 14 points against the Sir Winston Churchill Bulldogs on Monday morning.  Uguak would also score 20 in a winning effort against Oak Bay on Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Titans are #1 for a reason, as they are the defending Alberta AAAA champions and are coming off a recent win at the southern Alberta Sugar Bowl tournament. They also boast forward Aher Uguak who will be heading to the University of New Mexico in the fall of 2016.

Uguak showed why the Lobos are so high on the talented forward, as he scored 20 points in the Titans win Sunday over Oak Bay and added another 14 in limited playing time against the Bulldogs on Monday morning.

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Sir Winston Churchill’s Bari Ipaa (21) soars for a pair against Harry Ainlay on Monday. Ipaa would score just four points against the Titans, but would have a 22 point effort on Sunday night against SMUS at the SMUS Invitational (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Uguak was not the only star against the Bulldogs Monday, as the Titans, who built a 33-6 first quarter lead and cruised from there, had five players in double figures, receiving scoring from all but three players on their 14 man roster.

In addition to Uguak, other players reaching double digits for the Titans included Karn Toor (20 points), Jaret Burbank (17), Hugo Young (14) and Marvin Washington (11).

For Sir Winston Churchill, Kyle Mitchell and Noah Greenwood led the way with 22 and 15 points respectively.

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Titan forward Hugo Young (10) leaves a pair of Sir Winston Churchill defenders in his wake as he goes to the hoop for two of his 14 points on Monday morning (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

In Sunday night’s action, the Titans had a little more trouble with Oak Bay, the #2 rated team in BC and #1 on the Island, in a close and well-played affair at UVic’s CARSA gym. After battling through an even 17-17 first quarter, the Bays held a one-point 35-34 lead at the half.

The Titans then cranked it up a bit in the third, outscoring the Bays 20-14, including a 12-2 run to end the period to hold a 54-49 lead at the break. They would score 24 more in a wild fourth quarter to stay ahead of the hard-charging Bays, closing with the 78-71 win.

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Bulldogs guard Justin Herbison (5) navigates his way past Titan defender Miles Washington (4) during action at the SMUS invitational basketball tournament (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

For the Titans, Uguak’s 20 points would lead the way while Young chipped in 19 and Washington had 16. For Oak Bay, Madhu McConnell would lead all scorers with 21 points, with Jaden Touchie and Myka Tang-Blumenschein adding 13 and 12 respectively in the losing effort.

In other action Sunday night, the host Blue Jags defeated the Sir Winston Churchill Bulldogs 68-61 on the strength of a 16-point performance from Ryan Hindson. The Blue Jags never trailed in the game, holding 12-4, 24-20, and 44-36 leads at the breaks. While the Bulldogs did close to within a point or two multiple times over the course of the game, the Blue Jags held them off to preserve the seven point win.

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Harry Ainlay’s Jinoh Park (6) puts up a shot in action against Sir Winston Churchill on Monday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

In addition to Hindson’s 16 points, Ben Keep with 13 and Lucas DeVries and Sammy DeVries with 10 each, also found their way into double figures. For the Bulldogs, Bari Ipaa led the way with 22 points, while Kyle Mitchell had 14 in the losing effort.

The tournament continues Monday afternoon with SMUS taking on Harry Ainlay at 3:30 pm and the Bulldogs taking on Oak Bay at 5:15 pm. Both games are at the SMUS gym on the main campus.

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Sir Winston Churchill’s Noah Greenwood (31) puts up a shot against Harry Ainlay on Monday. Greenwood would finish with 15 points against the Titans (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Oak Bay and SMUS game originally scheduled for 9:00 am Monday was not played, as the Bays, who have missed a number of classes so far this season due to games, were required by their administration to attend school Monday morning. The two teams will play each other at a later date in league play.

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