Oak Bay Sweeps Aside Alberta’s Winston Churchill to Take Gary Taylor Classic

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Oak Bay's Caelan Scott, the eventual tournament MVP, would score 27 points to lead the Bays to a 83-50 win over Sir Winston Churchill in the championship final of the Gary Taylor Classic Saturday at Oak Bay High (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

December 16, 2017, Victoria, BC (ISN) – It was a clean sweep for the Oak Bay Bays, as they charged to an 83-50 win over Alberta’s Sir Winston Churchill Bulldogs to claim the Championship trophy at the 10th annual Gary Taylor Classic High School Basketball Tournament Saturday night at Oak Bay High in Victoria.

Oak Bay's Kaelan Scott floats to the hoop for two of his 27 points Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Oak Bay’s Kaelan Scott floats to the hoop for two of his 27 points Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Bays, who are the number one ranked Senior Boys 4A team in the province, breezed through the three games at the tournament, outscoring their opponents by an average of 43 points per game.  The win keeps the Bays undefeated thus far in their 2017-2018 season and wrests the Gary Taylor Classic trophy back from the Bulldogs, who won the title in 2016.

A tough Oak Bay defence did not give Churchill guard Luke Bakker (6) many options on Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
A tough Oak Bay defence did not give Churchill guard Luke Bakker (6) many options on Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Sir Winston Churchill, who finished ranked fourth in the province of Alberta at the end of last season, began Saturday’s final by threatening to do what no other team has done this year – beat the Bays – playing them basket-for-basket in an exciting first quarter that ended in a 13-13 tie.

Churchill's Pelumi Ajjayi (9) looks to put up a shot past the defence of Oak Bay's Luis Guerra (14) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Churchill’s Pelumi Ajjayi (9) looks to put up a shot past the defence of Oak Bay’s Luis Guerra (14) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Churchill's Shahab Salam (8) has his shot tipped by some good defence from Oak Bay's Freeman Taylor (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Churchill’s Shahab Salam (8) has his shot tipped by some good defence from Oak Bay’s Freeman Taylor (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Things went downhill from there however, as the Bays, led by a trio of three-point shots from red hot Diego Maffia and seven points from eventual tournament MVP Caelan Scott, outscored Churchill 24-10 in the second to take a 37-23 lead into the half.

Oak Bay's Riley Cronk (13) dishes a pass to Andrew Pittman (15) in first half action Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Oak Bay’s Riley Cronk (13) dishes a pass to Andrew Pittman (15) in first half action Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Churchill's Julian Lual (13) brings the ball upcourt alongside Oak Bay's Tyler Hills (10) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Churchill’s Julian Lual (13) brings the ball upcourt alongside Oak Bay’s Tyler Hills (10) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Scott, with 12 points and Maffia, with 9 points, continued their torrid pace in the third-quarter and combined with a “protect-the-hoop” defensive policy that kept the Bulldog’s big men away from the basket, the Bays outscored the Bulldogs 25-8 in the third to run away with the game, increasing their lead to 62-31 after three.

Churchill's Imoudu Ibrahim (11) is denied by Oak Bay's Riley Cronk (13) during second quarter play Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Churchill’s Imoudu Ibrahim (11) is denied by Oak Bay’s Riley Cronk (13) during second quarter play Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Bulldogs played for some pride after that, but the Bays were able to easily play out the clock in the fourth and close out the 33-point win.

Oak Bay's Tyler Hills brings the bal up court against pressure from Churchill's Emmanuel Odera (7) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Oak Bay’s Tyler Hills brings the bal up court against pressure from Churchill’s Emmanuel Odera (7) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

For Oak Bay, Scott would finish with 27 points to lead all scorers, while Maffia would finish with 20. Luis Guerra was the next highest scorer with eight, all of which came in the Bays 21-point fourth quarter.

Oak Bay's Cameron Henderson (8) puts up a jumper Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Oak Bay’s Cameron Henderson (8) puts up a jumper Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

For Churchill, after their big men Pelumi Ajayi, Imoudu Ibrahim and Julian Luai combined for 62 points Friday in their semi-final win over St. Thomas More, the Oak Bay defence limited them to just eight points each on Saturday in the losing cause.  Sam Francisco led the Bulldogs with nine points, all on three-pointers.

Oak Bay's Tyler Hills (10) heads to the net for two of his six points Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Oak Bay’s Tyler Hills (10) heads to the net for two of his six points Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Oak Bay's Diego Maffia (6) takes the ball away from trouble in the third quarter Saturday. Maffia would score 20 points in the Bays win (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Oak Bay’s Diego Maffia (6) takes the ball away from trouble in the third quarter Saturday. Maffia would score 20 points in the Bays win (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

In consolation play Saturday, a little bit of bracket swapping went on so teams could play against teams they don’t normally play against and as such, Vancouver College defeated the Belmont Bulldogs in a thriller 74-73, while St. Thomas More, who was supposed to play Vancouver College, switched over and defeated the Cowichan Thunderbirds 59-52.

Oak Bay's Caelan Scott (11) is congratulated by his teammates when leaving the game late in the fourth quarter. Scott would lead the Bays with 27 points in the 83-50 win (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Oak Bay’s Caelan Scott (11) is congratulated by his teammates when leaving the game late in the fourth quarter. Scott would lead the Bays with 27 points in the 83-50 win (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

In the other consolation game of the day, the St. Michael’s University Blue Jags came away with their first win of the tournament, topping the winless Lambrick Park Lions 64-52.

In Junior final championship game action, Vancouver College defeated Oak Bay 65-34.

The 2017 Gary Taylor Champion Oak Bay Bays (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The 2017 Gary Taylor Champion Oak Bay Bays (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

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