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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.