Inaugural Vikes Alumni Senior Boys Basketball Invitational a success
The inaugural Vikes Alumni Senior Boys Basketball Invitational proved to be a great success, with the twelve games played at CARSA December 28-30 drawing large crowds and generating considerable interest.
See post-tourney report and images here>>
Vikes Alumni president Phil Ohl was delighted with the tournament, noting "very positive feedback from the eight participating teams.
"It was also wonderful to see over thirty former Vikes in attendance, all of whom volunteered in the running of the event," added Ohl.
Ohl also reiterated the invaluable support of the tournament's principal sponsor, Greg Wallis of Passion Sports.
A tournament field that included three teams from Washington State, BC 4A #1 Walnut Grove, Alberta powerhouse Harry Ainlay, and three locals in SMUS, Oak Bay and Lambrick Park, was always going to provide intrigue and so it proved.
Indeed, unbeaten Walnut Grove and Kingston HS served up an outstanding opener, with the Gators trailing for much of the contest before scrambling home 92-82. The nightcap between Ainlay and SMUS was played at a similarly furious pace, with the Titans registering a 91-81 victory despite 46 points by the Blue Jags' Ryan Hindson in a losing cause.
The semifinals also caused a stir, as a clinical 23-6 fourth quarter saw Ballard overturn a three-point deficit to hand Walnut Grove its first loss of the season. Tournament MVP Shay Curcuruto put on a master class in guard play, while the Beavers tough interior defence negated completely Grove's star 6'8" forward Jake Cowley.
In the final match of the day, Harry Ainlay's speed, athleticism and superior rebounding held sway over Oak Bay.
Day 3 produced the game of the tournament, as Oak Bay and Walnut Grove tangled for the bronze medal. The Bays held the upper hand for much of the contest, before the Gators edged in front for the first time with two minutes to play. Oak Bay's Isaiah Romanow, superb throughout in registering a career high 28 points, then put his team up 68-66 only to see Ty Rowell connect with five seconds remaining to draw Grove level.
Overtime went back and forth, with both teams missing key players with foul trouble. In the end, as a last Walnut Grove shot bounced off the rim, the Bays, thanks largely to a 15 for 26 performance from beyond the arc, triumphed 79-78.
The much anticipated final was surprisingly anticlimactic. A hectic travel schedule seemed to catch up with Harry Ainlay, though this should not take away on an absolutely stunning first half by Ballard. The Beavers put on an absolute clinic, particularly in registering 40 second quarter points, en route to an unthinkable 62-29 lead at intermission.
The Titans pushed back somewhat in the second half, but Ballard cruised to an impressive 87-59 victory.
WEDNESDAY, December 28
Game 1 Walnut Grove 92, Kingston 82 POG – Jake Cowley (Walnut Grove)
Game 2 Ballard 79, Lambrick Park 58 POG – Valentin Boyanov (Ballard)
Game 3 Oak Bay 60, Vashon Island 43 POG – Isaiah Romanow (Oak Bay)
Game 4 Harry Ainlay 91, SMUS 81 POG – Ryan Hindson (SMUS)
THURSDAY, December 29
Game 5 Kingston 78, Lambrick Park 62 POG – Liam Young (Kingston)
Game 6 SMUS 69, Vashon Island 63 POG – Ben Keep (SMUS)
Game 7 Ballard 91, Walnut Grove 77 POG – Shay Curcuruto (Ballard)
Game 8 Harry Ainlay 81, Oak Bay 71 POG – Sabry Philip (Harry Ainlay)
FRIDAY, December 30
Game 9 Vashon Island 71, Lambrick Park 64 POG – Jahmiah Hoogen (VI)
Game 10 Kingston 74, SMUS 47 POG – Andrew Shaw (Kingston)
Game 11 Oak Bay 79, Walnut Grove 78 (OT) POG – Caelen Scott (OB)
Game 12 Ballard 87, Harry Ainlay 59 POG – Fresh Azure (Ballard)
ORDER OF FINISH
2. Harry Ainlay
3. Oak Bay
4. Walnut Grove
7. Vashon Island
8. Lambrick Park
Calvin Somers (Lambrick Park)
Casper Forest (Vashon Island)
Ephraim Hsu (SMUS)
Brett Spencer (Kingston)
Brett Christensen (Walnut Grove)
Isaiah Romanow (Oak Bay)
Miles Washington (Harry Ainlay)
Matthew Paulsen (Ballard)
ALL STAR TEAM
Jaden Touchie (Oak Bay)
Sabry Philip (Harry Ainlay)
Ariel Mutrware (Harry Ainlay)
Valentin Boyanov (Ballard)
Simon Czyzewski (Ballard)
MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER