Favourites Advance in 2A High School Basketball Playoffs

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Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

February 18, 2016, Victoria, BC (ISN) – As expected, the heavily favoured St. Michael’s University (SMUS) Blue Jags and Lambrick Park Lions will square off on Friday evening for the Lower Vancouver Island Senior Boys 2A High School Basketball championship after both teams won their semi-final match-ups on Thursday evening at the SMUS gym in Victoria.

SMUS guard Ryan Hindson (11) was soaring Thursday as he scored 36 points to lead the Blue Jags to a 80-55 win over Pacific Christian in 2A high school basketball semi-final action (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The #2 seeded Lions, who finished Division 1 league play with a 6-4 record and who are the 5th ranked 2A team in the province, kicked off the first semi-final Thursday by defeating the Parkland Panthers 68-28 in a lopsided affair.

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Lambrick’s Ty Schindel (23) would score 15 points to lead the Lions to a semi-final win over Parkland on Thursday night (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Panthers, who sported a 9-1 record in Division 2 league play, came into Thursday night’s semi-final on the heels of a 60-47 win over Glenlon Norfolk in a quarter-final game that was played Wednesday evening.

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While he had a quiet night points wise, Austin Somers (8) ran the floor effectively for the Lions when needed (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Panthers were looking to post an upset on the injury plagued Lions, who have struggled a bit all season without the services of Calvin Somers and Ben Reddy, but it would not happen, as Lambrick came out of the gates flying and thanks to a seven-point quarter from Trey Crust, who dominated under the boards, built a 20-5 lead by the end of the first frame.

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Lambrick’s Ty Adams (13) looks for a pass option while leaping over Parkland defender Ethan Bond (10) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Parkland would come alive a bit in the second quarter and thanks to a five-point effort from Ethan Bond, they would out score the Lions 11-7 in the frame and cut the Lambrick lead to 27-16 at the half.

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A seven-point first quarter from Trey Crust (24) helped spark the Lions to an early 20-5 lead over the Panthers (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

That would be the highlight of the night for the Panthers, as the Lions, clearly just playing with their food in the second quarter, would hold the Panthers to just 12 points for the rest of the game and score 19 and 22 of their own in the third and fourth quarters respectively, to cruise to the win.

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Lambrick’s Zeke Holt (33) looks for a passing option after gathering in a rebound Thursday against Parkland (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Leading the way for the Lions was Ty Schindel who finished with 15 points. Crust added six more after the first quarter to finish with 13, while Spencer Kearley chipped in 10.

For Parkland Godwin Polares led the way with 10 points while Bond finished with seven.

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He scored early and often…SMUS guard Ryan Hindson soars for two of his 16 first quarter points against Pacific Christian on Thursday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

In the second semi-final of the night, the #1 seeded Blue Jags, who posted a respectable 7-3 record in Division 1 play this season and who have jumped ahead of Lambrick Park in both the Island and Provincial rankings, also had a relatively easy time of it on Thursday night, receiving 36 points from a red hot Ryan Hindson to cruise a 80-55 win over the Pacific Christian Pacers.

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A focus of concentration, SMUS Ryan Hindson gets set to launch a free throw during first half action Thursday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Pacers came into Thursday’s game sporting a 6-4 record in Division 2 league play and were coming off an 84-61 thumping of Edward Milne in Wednesday night’s semi-final.

That meant nothing to a much stronger SMUS team that came out of the gate flying and built a 15-2 lead halfway through the first quarter and then increased that to a 31-12 lead at the end of the frame, thanks mainly to a 16-point quarter from guard Hindson who could not miss anything that he threw up at the net.

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Blue Jag Sammy DeVries (23) dishes off a pass during second half action Thursday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Hindson would add ten more in a 16-point Blue Jags second quarter and while the Pacers would keep pace with 16 points of their own, SMUS took a 47-28 lead into the locker room at the half.

The Blue Jags and Hindson, with ten more points, would continue to roll in the third to lead 67-39 at the break and with Hindson on the bench in the fourth, the Blue Jags played the bench and easily closed out the 80-55 win.

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SMUS forward Quinn Ngawati (21) looks toward the hoop as he gets set for a shot against the defence of Pacific Christian’s Dawit Weldemichael (14) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

With his 36 points, Hindson led all scorers. He was so dominant, no other Blue Jag hit double figures for the night.

For Pacific Christian, Asher Loeren led the way with 12 points while Austin Lee and David Liira each chipped in 11 in the losing effort.

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The unstoppable Hindson (11) would finish the night with 36 points, lading SMUS to an easy win over Pacific Christian (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

In earlier action Thursday, the Glenlon Norfolk Gryphons and Edward Milne Wolverines squared off in the 5th-6th place game with Glenlon Norfolk eking out an exciting 61-60 win.

Leading the way for the Gryphons was Tai Orser with 25 points, while Alec McKenzie scored 22 for the Wolverines in the losing effort.

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Blue Jag Ben Keep (5) eludes the check of Pacific Christian’s Calvin Sytsma (5) on this basket late in Thursday’s game (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Glenlon Norfolk now hopes for an opportunity to play a challenge game on Saturday to make their way to the Island Championships. For that to happen they would have to hope that Parkland defeats Pacific Christian and then Glenlon Norfolk would play Pacific Christian in the challenge game for the fourth slot at the Islands. Should Parkland lose to Pacific Christian, then Parkland would take the fourth slot, as they already defeated Glenlon Norfolk in the quarter-finals.

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SMUS head coach Ian Hyde-Lay (centre) has his Blue Jags peaking at the right time and they will now battle Lambrick Park Friday for the Lower Island 2A title (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

That 3rd and 4th place game between Parkland and Pacific Christian will take place at 4:00 pm on Friday at Lambrick Park, while Lambrick and SMUS will tip off in the final at 5:45 pm. also at Lambrick.

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In earlier action Thursday, Kai Peng (30) and his Glenlon Norfolk Gryphon teammates defeated the Edward Milne Wolverines 61-60 in the 5th – 6th place game (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The challenge game, if needed, will take place on Saturday at 2:00 pm at St. Michaels.

Watch for more photos from these games shortly at http://christianjstewart.zenfolio.com/f561488289

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