Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
December 3, 2016, Saanich, BC (ISN) – The 2016-2017 Senior Boys High School basketball season kicked into high gear Friday night, as a number of local teams including the Lambrick Park Lions, Mt. Douglas Rams and Parkland Panthers all saw action on the opening day of the Parkland – Mt. Douglas Tip Off Tournament at the Mt. Douglas gymnasium in Saanich.
In opening game action, the Panthers easily handled the host Rams 78-41, while in game two Friday night, Courtenay’s Mark Isfeld surprised the Lambrick Park Lions 65-52. Port Alberni and Mt. Douglas were playing in the final game Friday with the score not available at press time.
Other teams playing in the tournament include Victoria and Nanaimo, who will both see action Saturday in the remaining six games, which will all be played at Parkland beginning at 10:00 am.
The Parkland – Mt. Douglas tournament is one of two major high school basketball tournaments happening in Victoria this weekend, the second at Pacific Christian High School featuring Pacific Christian, Esquimalt, Edward Milne, Nanaimo Christian, Gulf Islands, Duncan Christian, Oak Bay “B” and Reynolds.
Brentwood College in Mill Bay is also getting in on the pre-season tournament action as they are hosting the Independent Schools Association (ISA) Tier I tournament that includes Brentwood College, SMUS, Southridge, and Collingwood.
The tournaments are a precursor to the beginning of the South Island Division 1 League schedule that begins play next Tuesday, Dec. 6 with Lambrick Park visiting Claremont, SMUS at Belmont and Oak Bay at Parkland.
South Island Division 2 league play began last Tuesday, Nov. 29 with St. Andrews defeating Stelly’s 70-57, Glenlyon Norfolk rolling over Pacific Christian 79-34 and Victoria thumping Royal Bay 61-31.
In Friday night’s Panthers and Rams match-up, the host Rams started strong and built an 8-3 lead, but the quickness of the Parkland squad created a number of Mt. Doug turnovers and allowed the Panthers to go on a 24-2 run to close out the first quarter with a 27-10 lead.
Panther’s guard Godwin Porlares then began to take the game over, scoring 11 of his 22 points total in the frame to increase the Parkland lead to 50-21 at the half.
The Rams would regroup a bit at the break and thanks to a 10-point quarter from Hwi KIm, outscore the Panthers 14-11 in the period and cut the lead after three to 61-35.
Their good fortune would dry up though in the fourth however and the Rams would be outscored 17-6 in the final period to fall 78-41.
Porlares led the way for the Panthers with 23 points, while Jamil Tanzuaco (with 15), Ethan Bond (with 11) and Cameron Harvey (with 10) also hit double figures for the visiting Parkland squad.
For the Rams, Kim led the way with 14 points, while Gilbert DeLuna and Prashant Tadeparti added 10 and 8 respectively in the losing effort.
In the second game Friday, things looked good early for Lambrick Park, who are buoyed this season by the return of point guard Calvin Somers, who missed all of last year with a serious knee injury.
Calvin and his twin brother Austin, are the force that drives the Lion’s offence and they helped stake the Lions to an early 11-5 lead, before the small, but quick Mark Isfeld squad went on a 12-0 run to end the frame and take a 17-11 lead at the end of one.
The Rams would regain their game and play Isfield to an even second quarter, trailing 33-27 at the half, but in the third, Calvin Somers, finally shaking off the rust of almost a year-long layoff, would hit some clutch three-pointers to pull the lions into a 48-48 tie with Isfield at the end of three.
That would be the end of the magic however, as the Lions shooting went cold after that and thanks to some key baskets down the stretch by Isfeld’s Logan Benninger and Thaskani Mtawali, Isfeld would outscore Lambrick 17-4 in the final quarter to finish with the 65-52 win.
Detailed scoring statistics for the game were not available, but key Isfeld contributors included Benninger and Mtawali, as well as Brett Woods, while the Lions were led by the Somers twins and Cole Tudway-Cains in a supporting effort.
Watch for ISN’s and Christian J. Stewart’s continued coverage of the Lower Island High School basketball season as the year progresses and look for more images from these and other local basketball games at http://christianjstewart.zenfolio.com/basketball