Wellington, Nanaimo Soar Into AAA Vancouver Island High School Basketball Final

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Wellington's Ryder Jenks (9) is fouled by Vic High's Chris Niketas on his way to the hoop Friday. Jenks would lead the Wildcats to an easy win with a 20-point night (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Lambrick, Brentwood College (AA), Belmont and Oak Bay (AAAA) Also Playing for Gold Saturday

Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

February 24, 2017, Victoria, BC (ISN) – It will be an all mid-Island final Saturday night at the 2017 Vancouver Island AAA High School Basketball Championships, as both the Wellington Wildcats and Nanaimo District Secondary School Islanders had easy wins in their semi-finals Friday evening at the Victoria High gym in Victoria.

Vic High's Lynden Hamilton (left) and Wellington's Alex Staniforth (right) battle for position on a rebound during Friday's semi-final (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Vic High’s Lynden Hamilton (left) and Wellington’s Alex Staniforth (right) battle for position on a rebound during Friday’s semi-final (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Wildcats were the first to advance, using their significant height advantage to defeat the host Vic High Totems 74-54.

The Totems fell behind early in this one, trailing 19-11 after the first quarter and then watching the Wildcats outscore them 20-6 in the second quarter to trail 39-17 at the half.

Victoria's Lynden Hamilton would score 19 points Friday in a losing effort to the Wellington Wildcats (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Victoria’s Lynden Hamilton would score 19 points Friday in a losing effort to the Wellington Wildcats (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

In the second half, the Totems would keep pace with the Wildcats, and thanks to leading scorer Lynden Hamilton scoring 13 of his 19 points in the half, outscore them 37-35, but that would be nowhere near enough and the Wildcats easily closed out the 74-54 victory.

For Wellington, Ryder Jenks led the way with 20 points, while Alex Staniforth and Brooks Branchi scored 18 and 17 points respectively.

Vic High's Jairus Miclat (25) would follow-up his 19-point performance Thursday, with a 14-point night Friday, but it would not be enough as the Totems fell to Wellington 74-54 (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Vic High’s Jairus Miclat (25) would follow-up his 19-point performance Thursday, with a 14-point night Friday, but it would not be enough as the Totems fell to Wellington 74-54 (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Hamilton’s 19 points led the Totems, with Thursday hero Jairus Miclat adding 14 points in the losing effort.

The Totems, looking to make their first trip to Provincials in many years, now have to battle Mark Isfeld Saturday morning at 10:00 am for that chance.  Isfeld advanced Friday with a 65-57 win over Reynolds.  The winner of that game advances to the third and fourth place game Saturday night at 6:00 pm and because the top four teams from the Island move to Provincials, guarantees the winner a spot in Langley on March 8.

Wellington's Alex Staniforth (10) would have an 18-point game against Lynden Hamilton (23) and the Vic High Totems Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Wellington’s Alex Staniforth (10) would have an 18-point game against Lynden Hamilton (23) and the Vic High Totems Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Wildcats move on to the AAA Island Championship game Saturday night at 7:45 pm against the Nanaimo District Secondary School Islanders who easily handled the Campbell River Tyees 66-34 in Friday’s second semi-final.

Nanimo's Will Fridriksson (9) dribbles past Campbell River's Jonah Shankar (right) during Friday's second semi-final. The Islanders would cruise to a 66-34 win (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Nanaimo’s Will Fridriksson (9) dribbles past Campbell River’s Jonah Shankar (right) during Friday’s second semi-final. The Islanders would cruise to a 66-34 win (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The #1 seeded Islanders jumped on the Tyees early and never looked back, holding an 18-10 lead at the end of one and a 37-17 lead at the break.  They extended that to 51-23 at the third quarter break and then rested their starters and gave their subs some significant playing time as they cruised to the 32-point win.

Nanaimo's Owen Morrison (4) would score 15 points against Carihi Friday to lead the Islanders to the win (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Nanaimo’s Owen Morrison (4) would score 15 points against Carihi Friday to lead the Islanders to the win (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Owen Morrison was the big Tyee killer for Nanaimo, potting 15 points, while Max Therrien and Quinn Frank had 10 points each.  Carihi was led by Jarred Perras with seven points.

The Tyees will now have to defeat the Mt. Douglas Rams to advance to the Provincials in an 11:45 am game Saturday.  The Rams advanced to that game earlier Friday with a 55-43 win over Ballenas.

Nanimo's West Franks heads to the hoop past Campbell River's Jason Chen (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Nanaimo’s West Franks heads to the hoop past Campbell River’s Jason Chen (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

In the Island AA Championships being held at Brentwood College, it will be the host Brentwood against the Lambrick Park Lions in the 7:15 pm final Saturday night.  Brentwood advanced with a dominating 76-37 win over St. Michael’s, while Lambrick handled Shawnigan Lake 88-65 in Friday’s semi-finals.

Mark Isfeld's Logan Benninger (7) would be money from the three-point arc, leading his team to a 65-57 win over Reynolds Friday afternoon (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Mark Isfeld’s Logan Benninger (7) would be money from the three-point arc, leading his team to a 65-57 win over Reynolds in AAA action Friday afternoon (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Both teams are now guaranteed spots in the AA Provincials, with Parkland taking on St. Mikes and Kwalikum taking on Shawnigan Lake Saturday morning in the hopes of vying for a third provincial bye.  The winners of those games, play in the third place game at 5:30 pm Saturday evening.

Another host team that will be battling for Island gold are the Belmont Bulldogs, who will play the Oak Bay Bays in the Island AAAA Championship  Saturday at 8:00 pm at Belmont High School.

Reynolds forward Kona Meszaros (14) leaps for a rebound in the Roadrunner's game against Mark Isfeld Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Reynolds forward Kona Meszaros (14) leaps for a rebound in the Roadrunner’s AAA game against Mark Isfeld Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Bulldogs advanced by defeating Dover Bay 91-80 Friday evening, in large part thanks to a 28-point performance from Dontae Bull and 16 points each from Nishad Tarak and Nathan Johal.

Oak Bay easily handled Cowichan 96-48 in Friday’s other semi-final.  Caelan Scott led the Bays with 18 points while Jaden Touchie and Isaiah Romanow had 15 and 13 points respectively.

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