VICTORIA – The inaugural Vikes Alumni Senior Boys Basketball Invitational proved to be a great success, with the twelve games played at CARSA December 28-30 drawing large crowds and generating considerable interest.

Vikes Alumni president Phil Ohl was delighted with the tournament, noting “very positive feedback from the eight participating teams.

“It was also wonderful to see over thirty former Vikes in attendance, all of whom volunteered in the running of the event,” added Ohl.

Ohl also reiterated the invaluable support of the tournament’s principal sponsor, Greg Wallis of Passion Sports.

A tournament field that included three teams from Washington State, BC 4A #1 Walnut Grove, Alberta powerhouse Harry Ainlay, and three locals in SMUS, Oak Bay and Lambrick Park, was always going to provide intrigue and so it proved.

Indeed, unbeaten Walnut Grove and Kingston HS served up an outstanding opener, with the Gators trailing for much of the contest before scrambling home 92-82. The nightcap between Ainlay and SMUS was played at a similarly furious pace, with the Titans registering a 91-81 victory despite 46 points by the Blue Jags’ Ryan Hindson in a losing cause.

The semifinals also caused a stir, as a clinical 23-6 fourth quarter saw Ballard overturn a three-point deficit to hand Walnut Grove its first loss of the season. Tournament MVP Shay Curcuruto put on a master class in guard play, while the Beavers tough interior defence negated completely Grove’s star 6’8″ forward Jake Cowley.

In the final match of the day, Harry Ainlay’s speed, athleticism and superior rebounding held sway over Oak Bay.