Isfeld and Vanier squared off in the battle for third at the Mt. Doug senior boys basketball tournament on the weekend in Victoria — the first time the two sides have played during Isfeld’s existence.
The first half was a tight match with both teams playing tough and hard on defence. Isfeld’s Thaskani Mtawali was brilliant throughout the game, drawing fouls, dishing great passes and scoring seemingly at will, leading the Ice to a two-point lead at the half. The second half saw a better effort from a host of Towhees, who picked up their effort on defence, and came away with a 69-54 win. Kyle Piercy scored 21 points, nine rebounds, five assists and five steals to earn Player of the Game honours. Levi Timmermans added 19 points and nine rebounds.
Mtawali and Timmermans both earned tournament all-star selections.
The enjoyment of playing against long-time friends promises to carry over to their upcoming league game Jan. 30 at Vanier.
Overall, the weekend was a fun tournament for the Towhees, who had a chance to see how they shape up against six of the Island’s best 3A schools, Vanier coach Larry Street said.
The first game against Royal Bay of Victoria was a nail biter, with Vanier prevailing 68-67.
“Royal Bay matched size with Vanier very well, and the game was back and forth throughout,” Street said.
Royal took many threes (4 for 29), while Vanier kept putting the ball inside, which drew 37 free throws. But Vanier missed 19 of them. It made for a close game, and a good indicator of what lays ahead come playoff time.
Timmermans led the team with 26 points and 14 rebounds, while Piercy had 19 points and three assists. Riley Meyerhoff had 18 rebounds and chipped in eight points.
Vanier lost Game 2 to Nanaimo’s Wellington, which was led by talented, high-scoring players Brooks Branchi (27 points) and Ryder Jenks (28 points). The Towhees just couldn’t match, especially with important players on the bench with foul trouble for much of the game.
“Kyle Piercy was really the only bright light for the Towhees with 21 points,” Street said.
Both teams match up on Thursday, Dec. 21 at Wellington for an important league game, which starts at 7 p.m.