Story and Photos by Erich Eichhorn (ISN)

March 3, 2013 Victoria, BC (ISN) – Vancouver Island AAA Boys Basketball’s best was on display at Mt. Douglas High School Saturday night, as unranked Claremont Spartans earned the rights to cut down the net in victory by defeating the 9th ranked Oak Bay Bays 61-52 in front of a packed gymnasium.

For Claremont, it’s their second Island title in 11 years, with their last win in 2002. It also happened to be the year that they finished second at the provincial “big show”. The Spartan win last night was the largest margin of win for an Island Final in 10 years. That is just how dominating a performance the Spartans displayed.

Claremont Spartans basketball team poses with the spoils of an Island AAA Boys Basketball Final win over Oak Bay. The Spartans will advance to the B.C. Championships for only the second time since 2002  – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( )

Oak Bay would keep the Spartans close with a 15-14 first period Spartan lead, but that would soon be extinguished in the second period as the Spartans would start to heat up, going on a 20-7 tear in the second quarter on the three-point shooting prowess of Claremont’s Jaamel Slack . Slack would score all his eight points in that frame to set the tone for the rest of the game.

Oak Bay guard Liam Horne runs the fast break for two points with Claremont’s Caillum White in tow – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( )

Oak Bay would show some bounce out of the locker room, looking to erase a fourteen-point half-time deficit. Oak Bay’s first team Island All-stars Liam Horne and Mat Hampton would lead the charge, scoring all the Bays eleven points in the third period, but was unable to crack the Spartans defense.

Claremont’s Alex Jordache goes hard to the cylinder taking a few bumps on the way – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( )

The Spartans would lead by as many as sixteen points in the third period. Claremont’s Tournament MVP Mason Loewen would erupt for eight of his game high 16 points in that frame to pull away, putting the game on ice, and a trophy in the halls of Claremont Secondary High School.

#11 Luke Collumbin drives to the hoop. Collumbin would score 10 points in a dominating team performance beating Oak Bay 61-52 – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( )

When asked of his team’s preparation for the game, Spartans coach Brown comment, “Every time we play them (Oak Bay) it’s a battle. We said that whoever wins the defensive battle wins the game, and I think we pretty well did a good job of cleaning our defensive glass.

Yuan Atemgoua beats Oak Bay’s Matt Gray to the hoop – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( )

We moved our feet well defensively. We knew it would be about whoever made a rebound at a timely time and we did it. We made a couple of shots down the stretch. Made some free throws, and here we are”. ” We just told the guys to go play hard. We want to force the issue and not let other teams dictate our play”.

Oak Bay’s all-star Laim Horne burns two Claremont defenders on his way to the hoop – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( )

The Spartans advance to the B.C. Championships, starting on March 12 at the Langley Events Centre.

Selected to the first team all-stars were : Vandermerwe of Spectrum, Liam Horne and Mat Hampton of Oak Bay, Erik Spaven of Belmont, and Jerod Dorby of Cowichan

Belmont Bulldogs will get another crack to gain a berth when they will challenge Oak Bay on Tuesday night by virtue of a third place finish and without playing Oak Bay in the island finals. Belmont handily beat the Cowichan Thunderbirds 70-52 in the earlier consolation round on the offensive talents of Erik Spaven (19 points) and Kane Johnston (16 points).