Sam Barnie led the Vanier senior boys basketball team to a 4A North Island title. He is pictured in action against Dover Bay. Peggy Street photo

Courtenay high school wins North Island 4A tournament

Vanier’s senior boys basketball team won the 4A North Island tournament, Feb. 18-19 at Cowichan Secondary in Duncan.

The first game was a 77-71 win over Dover Bay. The game featured back and forth scoring, with Vanier up 40-35 at half. The Towhees controlled the third quarter and kept an eight to 10-point lead, but early in the fourth Dover tied the game at 62 even. Vanier then went on a tear and was up 74-65.

“It seemed all loose balls fell into Towhee hands,” coach Larry Street said.

Dover was led by Zac Zhang with 23 points, and Blake Steel with 17. For Vanier, Sam Barnie led with 25 points and 11 rebounds, along with six assists. Aidan Walsh had 12 points and 11 rebounds, but injured his ankle late in the game. Reed Fournier chipped in 14 points.

The second game against North District Secondary (NDSS) was a battle for first and second. It was the teams’ fourth meeting of the season. NDSS was first in the six league matches, but this game was more important due to seedings for the Island Championships.

The first half was tight, with Vanier up 38-35 at half. In a back-and-forth third quarter, Barnie kept finding a way to score, inside and out. He ended with seven for 11 on three pointers, and 38 points in a 67-56 win for Vanier — their first North Island 4A championship in many years.

Without starting centre Walsh, the rest of the Towhees had to do their part in rebounding and solid team defence. Barnie had 12 rebounds, four blocked shots and four assists. Carson Bell added 15 points and six rebounds. Imraan Abdul came off the bench in both games and was a huge sparkplug on rebounds and defence. Tristan Carriere-Bela also was important with eight points, four assists, and lots of energy on defence.

The 4A Island tourney is Feb. 24-26 at Mount Doug in Victoria. Four teams from the north and four from Victoria are competing. Vanier plays Mount Doug Thursday at 2 p.m. Fans are welcome.

Boys basketballComox Valley