The Island championships can only be called a tournament of firsts for the Isfeld Ice senior boys basketball team.
For the first time in school history the Ice have qualified for three straight provincial championships: 2014 fourth in B.C., 2015 13th and 2016?
Other firsts at the Feb. 25-27 Island tourney at Nanaimo included the Ice losing their first game of the season. After going 33-0 (including a 35-game win streak dating back to last season) the Ice came out flat in their semfinal against Wellington and lost 70-40.
The Ice set a tournament record for made three- point field goals with 45 in four games. They set a record for average three-point field goals per game with 11.3.
Finally, Hank Magdanz set a tournament record with 10 treys in a single game and a tournament record 17.
Isfeld defeated Carihi in what coach Tom Elwood described as a lacklustre performance in the opening game on Thursday 69-36. Noah Kaefer scored 18 in limited minutes while Jeppe Madsen added 15 and Magdanz chipped in with 14.
The Ice were flat in the semifinal against Wellington, missing too many foul shots (seven) in the first half and blowing eight lay-ups. So instead of being comfortably up at the half the Ice were down three.
In the second half a lack of defensive intensity carried over to the offence as the Ice could manage only 20 points. In the bounce back game Saturday morning Isfefld faced a tough Ballenas team that scored 103 in a victory over Vic High the day before.
Cranking up the defensive intensity, the Ice held Ballenas to 26 for the half and 51 for the game, winning 80-51. It was in this game that the offence came alive as Magdanz hit seven threes in the first half and 10 for the game, finishing with 39 points in the contest. Kaefer added 15 and Madsen contributed 11.
In the third-place game Isfeld faced a tough Mt. Doug team for the final Island berth to provincials. It what can be only described as their best performance of the tournament, the Ice dominated the Rams, winning 67-36.
Kaefer carried the scoring load in the first quarter, tallying 13 of his 17. In the second quarter Madsen (11 points in the quarter and 19 for the game) and Brett Woods (coming off the bench) combined for 16 of the Ice’s 20 points to stake them to a 38-20 lead.
In the third quarter Mt. Doug was held to six points as the Ice put the game away. The final score was 67-36. Isfeld now has the week off and will travel to the Langley Events Centre for the B.C. championships March 9-12.