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It was a triumphant homecoming for the G.P. Vanier Towhees on Tuesday as they edged the Dover Bay Dolphins 71-69.
The Towhees played their first home game of the year and first AAA North Island League game in front of a boisterous crowd of painted teamsters and cheering fans.
Vanier coach Larry Street said the Nanaimo visitors were worthy opponents who contributed to a hard-fought battle which went down to the wire.
Joaquin Paterna led the way for Vanier with 18 points while Scott Stevens, Harry Ly and Jaron Piercy each potted nine points. "The action was frantic and exciting, which bodes well for a competitive league this year," Street said.
The game was also a good tune-up for this weekend's Towhee Tournament. The 12-team event got underway Thursday and continues today, with the final Saturday at 8 p.m. Vanier (Vancouver Island AAA #5) took on the Killarney Cougars of Vancouver last night, with result unavailable at press time. If they won they play at 6 p.m. tonight.
The Highland Raiders of Comox are also competing, along with Burnaby Mountain Lions, Wellington Wildcats of Nanaimo (Vancouver Island AA #5), New Westminster Hyacks, Ballenas Whalers of Parksville, Sentinel Spartans of West Vancouver, Gladstone Gladiators of Vancouver, Centeninial Centaurs of Coquitlam, defending champs King George Dragons of Vancouver (B.C. AA #8) and Mount Douglas Rams of Victoria (Vancouver Island AAA #7).
This past weekend the Towhees finished fourth at the 12-team Claremont Invitational in Victoria, where Paterna was named to the all-star team. Vanier defeated Matthew McNair 54-46, lost 63-53 to eventual champs Claremont in the semifinals then bowed to Brentwood College in the game for third place.