Vanier’s senior boys basketball team won the 51st annual Towhees Tournament on the weekend. The boys beat Guildford Park of Surrey in the final. Peggy Street photo

Courtenay basketball team wins home tourney

The host Vanier won the annual Towhee senior boys basketball tournament on the weekend, which provided some electrifying games and great crowds.

Each member of the 4A Towhees contributed to a 79-45 opening win over the single-A Gaglardi Academy of Comox. Gaglardi just couldn’t match Vanier’s size or depth, and from the beginning the score was quickly lopsided. Peter Greaves scored 24 points in less than half the game. Cam Bell scored 10 with five assists while Grade 11 Hunter Harris hustled and scored 19 points, along with four rebounds.

The host side then faced the 4A Mt. Doug of Victoria. The visitors kept the game close throughout, with #8 Guitouni hitting four second half threes. Vanier’s defence held its own in the fourth quarter, and came away with a 67-63 win. Greaves had 26 points and 12 rebounds. Brayden Waugh scored 16 points and 12 rebounds, and had three steals. Jakob Tortorelli chipped in 11 points and four steals.

Vanier played North Surrey in Saturday’s semi-final — an excellent game in front of a great cheering crowd. Both teams were on top of their game, and North Surrey kept things close with all-star Owen Scott scoring many a layup. Eventually, Vanier’s pressure defence prevailed, and Tortorelli hit a couple of key shots late to put the game away. He had 18 points while Greaves had 14 along with 10 rebounds, mostly in the second half. Logan Bell scored nine points.

The final game pitted Vanier againt Guildford Park of Surrey.

“Great anticipation for this game,” Vanier coach Larry Street said. “GP was a very fast, high energy team led by super guard Vincent Ubaldo. Eric Hernandez also showed his shooting touch and hit numerous threes late in the game to pull close.”

Vanier started off strong. Street said Jeremy Knopp, starting in place of injured captain Cam Bell, played a solid, two-way game to help steady the Towhees.

Final score: 79-76 Vanier in front of a packed house.

“Always good to beat those mainland teams in our home Valley tournament,” Street said, noting Waugh had a fantastic game with 24 points and 10 rebounds.

Greaves had 22 points and 16 rebounds, with four assists. Tortorelli had 11 points and eight assists. Macyn Leopkey-Johnson played a superb game at point guard, and chipped in seven points, three assists and three steals.

Greaves, Tortorelli and Waugh were selected first all-stars. Leopkey-Johnson earned a second all-star nod. Tortorelli also received the Nate DaSilva Towhee Award, which recognizes skill, sportsmanship, hard work and leadership.

Vanier next plays Cowichan in a league game, Tuesday in Duncan. This weekend is the 60th annual Snowball Tournament in Abbotsford, featuring seven top 10 teams, along with a strong team from California.

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