Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
February 17, 2016, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Lower Vancouver Island High School Senior Boys 3A Basketball playoffs kicked off this week and as expected, the #1 ranked and #2 seeded Mt. Doug Rams and Reynolds Roadrunners easily advanced into Friday’s final with semi-final wins on Wednesday night at Mt. Douglas High School in Victoria.
Mt. Doug’s Hanif Khedri (1) drives to the hoop in the Rams semi-final game against Victoria. The Rams would win 65-41 (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The #3 seeded Roadrunners kicked off the evening with an upset 61-39 win over the #2 seeded Stelly’s Stingers. The Roadrunners, who went 3-7 over the season seem to be peaking at the right time, as they gradually took over the game from the 5-5 Stingers and cruised to the easy win.
Stelly’s Jeff Calton (4) has his shot influenced by some tough defence of Reynold’s defender Henri Li (33) during the first semi-final Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The teams were separated by just a single point after the first quarter, with Reynolds up 11-10. A 5-0 run at the start of the second quarter then helped the Roadrunners extend that lead to 26-20 at the half.
Stelly’s Tom Henwood drives to the net against Reynold’s on Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The Roadrunners would then crank it up even more in the third quarter, outscoring the Stingers 21-12 to effectively put the game away. The Stingers would only score seven points in the fourth quarter and with 13 more being put up by Reynolds, the Roadrunners had no trouble closing out the win.
Reynold’s forward Eli Cunningham (12) would finish with 18 points in the win against Stelly’s (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Leading the way for Reynolds was forward Orhan Tebrizli with 20 points, while Eli Cunningham added 18. For Stelly’s, David Wiebe led the way with 14 while Kyle Baerg chipped in 11 in the losing effort.
The Roadrunner’s Orhan Tebrizli (23) would lead the Roadrunners with 20 points in the win over Stelly’s on Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
In the second semi-final Wednesday, the heavily favoured Rams, 10-0 during the regular season, also had an easy time of it, using their bench extensively and getting scoring from almost everyone in the line-up, to roll to a 65-41 win over the Victoria Totems.
The Roadrunner’s Jordan Atwal (9) looks to the hoop during this shot attempt over Stinger’s defender Jeff Calton (4) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The Totems, 3-7 during the regular season, made it to the semi-finals thanks to a 56-52 win over Royal Bay in the only quarter-final match-up on Tuesday night.
The Roadrunner’s Orhan Tebrizli (23) would somehow score on this reverse layup attempt in the second half Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Unfortunately that would be the extent of the good luck for Victoria thus far in these playoffs, as the Rams jumped out to an early 10-0 lead en route to a 22-10 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Mt. Doug’s James Huang (7) drives to the net for two of his 14 points in the win against Vic High (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The Rams then held the Totems to just five points in the second quarter, building a 36-15 at half and then outscored Victoria 19-10 in the third quarter to build a 55-25 lead at the break.
Mt. Doug’s Josh Bian (left) and Vic High’s Kolya Neilson (21) dive for a loose ball during their game Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The Totems had their best quarter of the game in the fourth, outscoring the Rams 16-10, but it was too little and way too late, as the Rams coasted to the 65-41 win.
Mt. Doug’s Harjot Gill (14) goes up for two of his 15 points Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The Rams received scoring from all but two players on their roster, including 15 from the team’s leading scorer Harjot Gill and 14 from James Huang. Josh Bian also added nine for the winners.
Mt. Doug’s Spencer Meldrum (8) takes the ball along the baseline during second half action Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
For Victoria, they were pretty much single-handedly kept in the game by some sweet outside shooting from Lyndon Hamilton, who finished with 20 of the team’s 41 points. Chris Niketas also hit double figures, scoring 10 points in the losing effort.
Mt. Doug’s Geavahn McNally-Hardesty (23) goes up for an easy lay-up late in Wednesday’s game against Victoria (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The Rams will now host the Roadrunners in the South Island 3A final which will take place at 12:45 pm on Friday at Mt. Douglas High School. That game will be preceded at 11:00 am by the third place game, with Stelly’s battling Victoria.
Mt. Doug’s Kuzey Erthol (32) was one of 10 different players to score for the Rams against Victoria (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Both the Rams and the Roadrunners and the winner of the third place game will advance to the Vancouver Island 3A Championships which will be held in Nanaimo next week.
Watch for more photographs from these games coming soon at http://christianjstewart.zenfolio.com/f561488289