Island talent shines at successful Vikes Alumni Senior Boys Invitational

VICTORIA – Building on the foundation of the inaugural Vikes Alumni Senior Boys Basketball Invitational a year ago, the second annual event again proved to be a great success. The nine games played at the CARSA Performance Gym, from Dec. 28-30, showcased outstanding teams and players, drew large crowds and also generated considerable interest.

Proceeds from the tournament went towards the Vancouver Island Vikes Men’s Basketball Scholarship, an endowed scholarship that is awarded to athletes on the Vikes that have played their senior year of high school basketball on Vancouver Island.

Vikes Men’s Basketball Alumni president Phil Ohl was delighted with the tournament, noting that he had received, “Very positive feedback from the six participating teams. It was also wonderful to see over thirty former Vikes in attendance, all of whom volunteered in the running of the event.”

Ohl also reiterated the invaluable support of RBC, the tournament’s presenting sponsor, premium sponsors Passion Sports and UVIC’s Department of Student Recruitment/Global Engagement as well as community sponsors Black Press and Il Terrazzo. “It would be extremely difficult to host the event without their considerable assistance,” he said.

A tournament field that included three teams from Washington State; B.C. 4A #1 Oak Bay and 4A #7 Vancouver College as well as B.C. 2A #1 Brentwood College was always going to provide intrigue.

All but one of the tournament’s nine games featured a visitor from south of the border playing against a B.C. team. The first day served up such fare, with the three local squads, who all played impressively, defeating their American counterparts. First, behind Jack Cruz-Dumont’s 36 points, Vancouver College upended Vashon Island 74-58. Next, Brentwood, led by point guard Nathan Pasloske, flexed its muscles en route to a 90-55 victory over a somewhat out of sorts North Kitsap. Then Oak Bay, with Caelan Scott notching a game high 25, took out a talented but young Seattle Academy team 99-72.

The Cardinals of Seattle Academy had a short turnaround for Day two, playing in the opening match against a red-hot Brentwood. Blistering three-point shooting saw the Mill Bay crew post 70 first half points, on the way to a comprehensive 104-50 triumph. Then, in an absorbing tussle, Vancouver College made the necessary plays down the stretch to eke out a 77-71 victory over North Kitsap. While the Vikings’ star guard Zac Olmsted led all scorers with 25; 22 combined fourth quarter points from Cruz-Dumont and Cam Wright was just enough for the Irish to claim the spoils.

Then it was Vashon Island’s turn, with the Pirates hugely improved over the previous evening. The visitors matched Oak Bay blow for blow well into the final frame before falling 73-55. The Bays’ Diego Maffia, saddled by foul trouble before halftime, managed 18 of his 20 points after the break.

The third day of action offered superb entertainment from start to finish. In the opener, Seattle Academy, behind ninth-grade guard Joe Cookson, turned in its best performance of the tournament before falling 80-59 to Vancouver College. Wright was instrumental in the Fighting Irish finishing the tournament unbeaten, nailing seven triples on his way to a 29-point effort.

The tournament organizers, with the support of visiting North Kitsap and Vashon Island, then made an alteration to the draw. The two Washington State teams agreed to play each other and so allow for a tantalizing clash between Brentwood and Oak Bay.

And so, the stage was set with Oak Bay and Brentwood, currently considered B.C.’s two best teams and both unbeaten, going toe-to-toe. A  wonderful game, played before an enthusiastic crowd of over 800, did not disappoint, with myriad twists and turns adding to the excitement.

Brentwood roared out of the blocks, dictating play to lead 14-5 mid first quarter. Oak Bay clawed back to 23-18 at the break, before, behind Maffia’s red hot shooting, going on a 25-7 run to lead 43-30. But Brentwood had the final say, going on a critical 9-3 spurt of its own prior to halftime.

Mirroring its start to open the game, Brentwood then continued to hold sway in the third quarter. Pasloske, after a quiet first half, hit three consecutive jumpers with Bruno Chan adding ten points of his own as the defending AA champions went up 53-51, and then, with Oak Bay in some foul trouble, 63-57. But the Bays showed their pedigree, and with the return to action of Scott and Cam Henderson, fought back to trail only by three at the end of the third quarter.

The final frame had a little bit of everything. Oak Bay retook the lead thanks to a 7-2 run, with the game then featuring four ties and five lead changes. After converting one of two from the stripe, Oak Bay led by four, but Brentwood’s 6’6″ pivot Somto Dimonachie immediately answered with an inside finish before Brendan Sullivan stole a pass and converted the layup to draw his team level. Then forward Johnathan Macdonald found a seam in the Bays defence to nail the game winning layup, with two Ian Grabher’s free throws with two seconds to play completing the 8-0 run and confirming a thrilling 89-85 triumph.

With the win, Brentwood moved to 3-0 and so shared the Invitational title with similarly unbeaten Vancouver College.

Plans are already in place for the December 2018 Vikes Alumni event. Teams from Oregon and Australia will join the field, while 2016 finalist Harry Ainlay, a traditional Alberta 4A power, is also set to return. Stay tuned for updates, with the tournament organizers hoping to confirm the eight-team field by April.


THURSDAY, December 28

Game 1        Vancouver College 74, Vashon Island 58 POG – Jack Cruz-Dumont (VC)
Game 2       Brentwood 90,North Kitsap 55                  POG – Nathan Pasloske (Brentwood)
Game 3        Oak Bay 99, Seattle Academy 72            POG – Caelen Scott (Oak Bay)

FRIDAY, December 29

Game 4        Brentwood 104, Seattle Academy 50     POG –Brendan Sullivan (Brentwood)
Game 5        Vancouver College 77, North Kitsap 71 POG – Zac Olmsted (North Kitsap)
Game 6        Oak Bay 73, Vashon Island 55              POG – Diego Maffia (Oak Bay

SATURDAY, December 30

Game 7        Vancouver College 80, Seattle Academy 59  POG – Can Wright (VC)
Game 8        North Kitsap 56, Vashon Island 51                 POG – Mike Piatti (Vashon Island)
Game 9        Brentwood 89, Oak Bay 85                            POG – Somto Dimonachie (Brentwood)


1. Brentwood and Vancouver College (3-0)
3. Oak Bay (2-1)
4. North Kitsap (1-2)
5. Vashon Island and Seattle Academy (0-3)


Kelly O’ Brien                  (Vancouver College)
Joe Cookson                   (Seattle Academy)
Tommy Delargy               (Vashon Island)
Shaa Humphrey               (North Kitsap)
Valdi Alarie-Hill                 (Oak Bay)
Caspar Poelen                 (Brentwood College)


Caelen Scott                   (Oak Bay)
Diego Maffia                   (Oak Bay)
Cam Wright                    (Vancouver College)
Jack Cruz-Dumont          (Vancouver College)
Somto Dimonachie         (Brentwood College)


Bruno Chan                    (Brentwood College)

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