Courtenay high school rival basketball teams from Isfeld and Vanier duked it out Tuesday night at Isfeld. Both teams compete at the triple-A level. Isfeld won 82-77. Scott Stanfield photos

Courtenay high school rival basketball teams from Isfeld and Vanier duked it out Tuesday night at Isfeld. Both teams compete at the triple-A level. Isfeld won 82-77. Scott Stanfield photos

Isfeld tops Vanier by five

The Isfeld Ice and Vanier Towhees senior boys basketball teams engaged in a tightly fought battle, Tuesday night at the Isfeld gym.

The Towhees were up 24-21 at the end of the first quarter, but the Ice led 41-38 at the half. Isfeld continued to lead 55-50 at the third, and held on for an 82-77 win.

“I think that we competed well for the most part,” Isfeld coach Tom Elwood said. “They are a good team and their size gives us trouble. I think we need to play faster on offence.”

Vanier pressed hard in the dying minutes, keeping the capacity crowd at seat’s edge until the final buzzer.

“It was a good game for us and with a full gym it helped promote basketball in the valley, which is always good.” Elwood said.

Despite the loss, Vanier coach Larry Street was able to find a number of positives from the game.

“Isfeld is so very well coached and disciplined,” he said.

Vanier’s top scorer was Jake Tortorelli with 21 points, followed by Justin Watt with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Macyn Leopkey-Johnson had 12 points and four assists, and Cam Bell finished with seven assists and six rebounds. Peter Greaves, a 6’8” Towhees forward, missed the game due to a strained calf.

Both Courtenay teams compete at the triple-A level. Isfeld is ranked number six in B.C. while Vanier is an honourable mention among triple-A teams.

The Ice and Towhees both compete at the Santa Slam tournament, which begins Thursday at Mt. Douglas Secondary in Victoria.

Vanier’s next league game is Tuesday, Dec. 18 at home against Ballenas of Parksville.