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The Vanier Towhees senior boys basketball team embarked on another road trip, their third in three weeks, to White Rock and the Southridge Secondary Tournament.
"The trip was worthwhile again because the team is still trying to gel and are getting better by the week," said coach Larry Street. Coming back with a third fourth-place finish in as many weeks, and leaving the team with a 6 win, 3 loss record to date, the Towhees seem to have problems with more athletic teams at this point, Street said.
"The boys need to play smarter basketball to beat these teams. We are able to easily handle average teams, but the athletic ones give us problems since we are still quite young with the basketball intelligence we need."
Game 1 vs. Panorama Ridge, South Surrey
"A very athletic group who played a tough 1-3-1 zone throughout the game, and the Towhees had trouble with it. Also, this team was very fast and every time the Towhees came within 10, they would make another three- or four-basket run," Street said. The final score was 70-47 Panorama Ridge.
Joaquin Paterna was one of the only Towhees who could make things happen, leading with 11 points and six assists. Scott Stevens was next with nine points and six rebounds. "We competed with them, but just couldn't score consistently," Street noted.
Game 2 vs. Robert Bateman, Abbotsford
"The 9 a.m. special is always a joy to play in, since we always find out who is ready to go that early in the morning," said Street. Luckily, the Towhees were a bit more energetic than Bateman and defeated them 64-50.
Everyone on the team played solid minutes, and almost everyone scored points. Joss Biggins led the way with 12 points while Paterna (nine points, five steals) and Foster Dewitt (nine points, 10 rebounds) both played fine games.
Stevens (eight points, nine rebounds) and Jaron Piercy (eight points, five rebounds) also did some good work. "Free throw shooting and shooting from the field still haunt the Towhees, and we'll need to put the ball in the basket more consistently," Street noted.
Game 3 vs. Frank Hurt, Surrey
The Towhees won the afternoon contest 81-61, and again everyone contributed good minutes. Paterna was player of the game and a tournament all-star with 17 points, eight assists, and 100 per cent (4-for-4) free throw shooting.
Stevens also had another solid game with 13 points and five rebounds, while Piercy is coming out of the doldrums with a nice 10-point game. "Coming home 2-1 is a good feeling, especially since last year at this time we were 2-7," Street said.
The 2012 portion of the season ends at the New Westminster Tournament Dec. 19-21, another eight-team affair. As well, the boys close out the first half of the season with an ambitious and sun-filled trip to San Diego where Mt. Carmel High School is hosting them in a 16-team tournament.
In the new year, Vanier will begin having more home games, featuring a league contest Jan. 15 against Dover Bay (7 p.m.), and the prestigious Towhee Tournament on Jan. 17-19, a 12-team rocker.
– Vanier Towhees