The Isfeld Ice junior boys basketball team played solidly this past weekend at the North Island playoffs in Parksville and qualified for the Island championships this weekend (Feb. 17-19) in Victoria.
Four local teams travelled to the North Islands. Highland, G.P. Vanier and Mark R. Isfeld along with Brooks (Powell River) competed against three Nanaimo teams and the host Ballenas for one of three berths to the Island championships. Representing Nanaimo were Barsby, Dover Bay and Wellington.
Isfeld’s first game on Thursday against Wellington was the first of two between the teams. The Ice led by four points at halftime but couldn’t hold onto the lead, eventually falling 43-38.
On Friday the Ice met Brooks. Their teamwork and defence was unmatched by Brooks as the Ice played a 2-3 zone zone to keep Brooks away from the hoop. A 43-28 win placed the Ice in line to match up against their rival, G.P. Vanier.
Isfeld played a tremendous defensive game against the Towhees, not allowing any second-chance points. The Ice’s starting lineup came out with tremendous energy and determination and built an 18-point lead by the end of the first quarter. The Ice never allowed the Towhees to come close and prevailed 56-25.
The Ice advanced to the most important game of their tournament against Wellington to determine the third berth to the Islands. Wellington put up the first basket, but the Ice held the lead throughout the game up to the end of the fourth quarter when the game was tied 43-43.
The three-minute overtime period was a continuation of an intensely physical game, with the Ice and Wellington both incurring an injury. Determined to win, the team assisted Cole Hutchings to sink a bucket in the last 50 seconds. The Ice continued to play with intensity and drive, not letting Wellington near the basket. Intense play, accuracy, and a great job of rebounding at the post secured a 45-43 win and a trip to the Islands.
Coach Stage Hagel said, “This is a great accomplishment for the boys as they have worked hard for this opportunity and have really grown as a team over the course of the season.”
“The players (captain/point guard Miller, shooting guard Playford, and forwards Hutchings brothers, DeWitt, Girard, Regehr, Sadler, Snook, and guards Guo and Chung, and Lu thank their coaches Stage Hagel, Tom Elwood, and Ross McDonald for their support,” a team spokesperson said.. “The coaching of this team is another example of the type of tremendous teamwork that comes from Mark R. Isfeld school.”