Oak Bay Cruises to Record 22nd Vancouver Island AAAA High School Basketball Championship

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Oak Bay's Jaden Touchie would score 22 points to lead the Bays to an 83-64 win over the Belmont Bulldogs, thus winning the 2017 AAAA High School Basketball Island Championship (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Nanaimo (AAA), Brentwood College (AA) and Duncan Christian (A) Also Crowned Champs

Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

February 25, 2017, Victoria, BC (ISN) – Jordan Touchie scored 22 points to lead the Oak Bay Bays to a 83-64 win over the host Belmont Bulldogs Saturday night in the final of the 2017 Vancouver Island High School AAAA Basketball Championships being played at the sparkling new gymnasium at Belmont High School in Langford.

Oak Bay's Isaiah Romanow (15) puts up two of his 15 points against the Bulldogs Saturday night (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Oak Bay’s Isaiah Romanow (15) puts up two of his 15 points against the Bulldogs Saturday night (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The win gave the Bays – the #3-ranked AAAA team in the Province –  their third straight Island Championship and their record 22nd overall and qualifies the team for the AAAA Provincials in Langley March 8-11.

Belmont's Dantae Bull (00) tries to deny this shot from Oak Bay's Jaden Touchie (4) during first quarter action Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Belmont’s Dantae Bull (00) tries to deny this shot from Oak Bay’s Jaden Touchie (4) during first quarter action Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

For Belmont, they will now be challenged for the second Provincial berth by the Cowichan Thunderbirds, who destroyed Dover Bay 77-39 earlier Saturday night to secure third place.  As Cowichan and Belmont did not play each other in the tournament, the teams will now go head-to-head on Tuesday night at Belmont to decide the Island’s second representative in Langley.

Oak Bay's early strategy of keeping Belmont big man Dantae Bull away from the basket was effective, but Bull eventually finished with a 31-point night in the loss to the Bays (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Oak Bay’s early strategy of keeping Belmont big man Dantae Bull away from the basket was effective, but Bull eventually finished with a 31-point night in the loss to the Bays (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Saturday’s final got out of hand for Belmont very early, as the Bays used a strong inside game from Isaiah Romanow, with 10 first quarter points, and some deadly outside shooting by the likes of Touchie and Digo Maffia to open up a 26-11 lead at the first break.

Oak Bays's Jaden Touchie (4) dribbles past Belmont's Nishad Tarak in first half action Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Oak Bays’s Jaden Touchie (4) dribbles past Belmont’s Nishad Tarak in first half action Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Six of those 11 Belmont points came from their big man Dantae Bull, who, much to the horror of the large Belmont student body in attendance, went down hard on his very first shot of the game, turning an ankle and coming up limping.

This was a familiar site Saturday, as Belmont's Dantae Bull (00) scored 31 points against Oak Bay, most of which were from in close (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
This was a familiar site Saturday, as Belmont’s Dantae Bull (00) scored 31 points against Oak Bay, most of which were from in close (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The injury would continue to bother Bull during the second quarter, but not enough to keep him from scoring another seven points and making some key stops on defence, that combined with an eight point quarter from guard Nishad Tarak, saw Belmont outscore the Bays 21-16 and close the Oak Bay Lead to 42-32 at the half.

Oak Bay's Caelan Scott (7) leads the charge up court during Saturday's game against Belmont (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Oak Bay’s Caelan Scott (7) leads the charge up court during Saturday’s game against Belmont (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Cue Caelan Scott.  The shifty guard, who led the Bays with 18 points in Friday’s semi-final win over Cowichan, had been very quiet in the first half Saturday, scoring just three points, but he went on a tear in the third quarter, scoring 12 points, including a pair of three-pointers, to extend the Bays lead to 66-47 at the end of the quarter and effectively putting the game out of reach for the Bulldogs.

Belmont's Nishad Tarak (3) puts up a running jumper during third quarter action Saturday. Tarak would score 15 in the losing effort against the Bays (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Belmont’s Nishad Tarak (3) puts up a running jumper during third quarter action Saturday. Tarak would score 15 in the losing effort against the Bays (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Bulldogs would go down fighting though, most notably their big man Bull, who would score 12 of his eventual 31 points in that fourth quarter, but for every basket he would score, the Bays seemed to match it and keep the 19-point lead in place, easily closing out the 83-64 win.

Oak Bay's Caelan Scott (7) tries to work a shot around the outstretched arm of Belmont's Dantae Bull during fourth quarter action Saturday. Scott would finish with 15 points on the night (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Oak Bay’s Caelan Scott (7) tries to work a shot around the outstretched arm of Belmont’s Dantae Bull during fourth quarter action Saturday. Scott would finish with 15 points on the night (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

For Oak Bay, the incredibly consistent Touchie, who scored nearly the same number of points in each quarter, led the way with those 22 points. Maffia, with some excellent outside shooting would finish with 18, while Romanow and Scott both ended the night with 15 each.

Belmont’s Bull led all scorers with his 31 points, while Tarak finished with 15 points in the losing effort.

Oak Bay's Digo Maffia (6) would would score 18 points on the night, here tries to drive into the lane against some tough Belmont defence (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Oak Bay’s Digo Maffia (6) would would score 18 points on the night, here tries to drive into the lane against some tough Belmont defence (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

In other Island Championship action, the Nanaimo Islanders were crowned the AAA Champions after they defeated Wellington 79-43 Saturday night at Vic High in Victoria.  Mark Isfeld, who knocked the host Vic High Totems out of contention early Saturday morning with a 62-34 win, took third place with a 65-44 win over Carihi on Saturday evening.  All four of those teams now advance to the AAA Provincials.

Oak Bay's Isaiah Romanow (15) drives the baseline against Belmont's Tyler Hardy (15) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Oak Bay’s Isaiah Romanow (15) drives the baseline against Belmont’s Tyler Hardy (15) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

In AA action, host Brentwood College took the Championship with a 84-59 win over Victoria’s Lambrick Park.  Both teams will now advance to Provincials along with the St. Michael’s University Blue Jags who secured the third Island berth with a 72-32 thumping of Shawnigan Lake.

Finally, in the single A final, Duncan Christian defeated St. Andrew’s 61-46. Both of those team will now advance to Provincials.

The 2017 Vancouver Island AAAA High School Basketball Champions - The Oak Bay Bays (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The 2017 Vancouver Island AAAA High School Basketball Champions – The Oak Bay Bays (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

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