King George Dragons roar once more at Towhee basketball tournament

Host Towhees finish third at annual Invitational senior boys basketball tournament

MARK MCGINNIS WAS named Most Outstanding Towhee at Vanier's annual Invitational senior boys basketball tournament.

MARK MCGINNIS WAS named Most Outstanding Towhee at Vanier's annual Invitational senior boys basketball tournament.

 

 

 

In mythology, slaying the dragon is never an easy task.

In reality, defeating the King George Dragons has become just as daunting a task at the annual Towhee Invitational senior boys basketball tournament.

The Dragons defeated New Westminster Hyacks 78-67 Saturday night to claim their second straight Towhee title. The Dragons, an AA squad ranked fifth in this week’s provincial poll, were competing in a 12-team tourney that featured top 10 Vancouver Island AAA teams G.P. Vanier (#6), Ballenas (#8), Spectrum (#9) and Stelly’s (#10).

Undaunted, the Dragons knocked off Carson Graham 78-71 in overtime Thursday and took out the host Towhees 82-67 in the semifinals Saturday morning before beating fellow Lower Mainlanders New West in the final. Kristian Hildebrandt of King George was tourney MVP while George Mija (first team) and Miguel Suarez (second team) were all-stars.

The Towhees finished third after beating Point Grey Greyhounds 61-60 Saturday. Mark McGinnis won The Nate DaSilva Award as Outstanding Towhee with Dillon Robson (first team) and McGinnis (second team) getting all-star nods. Point Grey was Most Sportsmanlike Team.

The Highland Raiders of Comox finished sixth (beating Seaquam 68-54, losing 75-58 to Point Grey, edging Spectrum 78-71 in double overtime and falling 83-59 to Carson Graham) with Noah Lewis and Nick Tancon named second team all-stars.

Vanier coach Larry Street said the 44th edition of the Towhee Invitational was possibly one of the most exciting. “Many of the top teams were quite similar in style, and our local teams were certainly competitive with the visitors,” Street said.

“We had two double overtime games, another overtime game and plenty of fast-break action. King George were worthy champions for the second year in a row, and definitely proved they are one of the top teams in the province … Double or Triple A.”

The Towhees put on a good show for their hometown fans.

Game one was against Stelly’s from Victoria, who were abruptly introduced to the new tenacity of defences the Towhees threw at them. Every Towhee was aggressive on defence and contributed to a high-scoring attack in an 84-48 win.

McGinnis paced all scorers with 33 points and continued his sharpshooting ways while Jaren Piercy is quickly becoming a bona fide scoring threat. Robson also contributed a double-double in rebounds and points.

In game two against Kwalikum on Friday night, the Towhees were eager to avenge the two losses to them last year. Kondors’ sharpshooter Kevin Frampton poured in 19 points, but it wasn’t enough as the Towhees went on to win 86-32. “Again, all the Towhees played and the team defence was entertaining to the fans,” Street said.

Robson led the way with 22 points while McGinnis added 17.  There was excellent defensive intensity by Cam Hughes and Scott Stevens, and some great two-way play by Dan Tran off the bench. Newcomer Kris Ding (exchange student) hit his first baskets and shot 100 per cent for the game.

Game three was a Saturday morning semifinal against always tough King George. The Dragons opened a quick 9-0 lead on three treys. “Tourney MVP Kristian Hildebrandt was too much to stop, and it looked like the Dragons were going to run away with this one,” Street said.

But the Towhees dug in and brought the score back to 27-24 early in the second period. King George conducted another couple of runs and the halftime score was 48-36. The second half was entertaining but the Towhees couldn’t muster the same firepower as the Dragons. Robson again led the Towhees with 20 points, nine rebounds and steady inside defensive play.

McGinnis was held to 15 points while contributing five assists. Stevens was  a force on the offensive boards with eight points and 10 rebounds and finished a +18 for the game. Cam Hughes had a +9, “Both great efforts by these pesky players,” Street said.

Vanier’s last game on Saturday evening was a rematch with the Greyhounds, who they had lost to in early December. “The Towhees dug deep into their tired bodies and mustered a 61-60 win, a great way to end the tournament and carry on into league play,” Street said.

“Luck was a factor too in this win. Bad luck cost us two free throws for a three-point lead with seven seconds left. WIth one second left, their point guard was fouled for two free throws. He promptly missed both as well, and we held on to the win to a happy crowd.

“Robson was a giant and had 28 points while McGinnis scored the winning basket with 14 seconds left and finished with 22 points and a season-high nine assists. The whole team was fantastic on defence, and heart,” Street said.

The Towhees hosted Ballenas in a North Island League AAA game Tuesday night, with result unavailable at press time.

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

A Saanich man received almost 10 years in Supreme Court in Courtenay for a shooting incident from 2018. Record file photo
Shooting incident north of Courtenay nets almost 10-year sentence

Richard Daniel Vigneault was arrested without incident and faced 16 counts

Danielle Egilson has been awarded a $40,000 post-secondary scholarship with The Cmolik Foundation. Photo supplied
Student from Courtenay’s Vanier Secondary lands prestigious scholarship

Cmolik Foundation provides opportunities for youth who’ve experienced adversity

Poverty is a sad reality for some people in the Comox Valley. Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
Project takes a hard look at poverty in the Comox Valley

Objective is to reduce poverty in the Comox Valley by 25 per cent over four years

Dr. Aref Tabarsi, a general pathologist at the North Island Hospital Campbell River Hospital Medical Laboratory, spoke about the issue of service in the region at a meeting in February 2020. Black Press file photo
Comox Strathcona hospital board wants pathology service back

Board supports move for chair, vice-chair to engage with Island Health on issue

Comox town hall. Black Press file photo
Comox approves 2021 tax rates

Homeowners can expect a 4.95 per cent in their residential tax rates this year

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

The only access to 5th Street bridge heading east (toward Lewis Park) is via Anderton Avenue. Photo by Terry Farrell.
Single lane alternating traffic controls on Courtenay bridge now in effect

Single lane alternating traffic on the 5th Street Bridge is now in… Continue reading

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
MISSING: Salt Spring RCMP find woman’s car, still seek Island resident

Sinikka Gay Elliott is 5’3” with a slim build and dark brown short hair

Bradley Priestap in an undated photo provided to the media some time in 2012 by the London Police Service.
Serial sex-offender acquitted of duct tape possession in B.C. provincial court

Ontario sex offender on long-term supervision order was found with one of many ‘rape kit’ items

Rich Coleman, who was responsible for the gaming file off and on from 2001 to 2013, was recalled after his initial testimony to the Cullen Commission last month. (Screenshot)
Coleman questioned over $460K transaction at River Rock during B.C. casinos inquiry

The longtime former Langley MLA was asked about 2011 interview on BC Almanac program

Steven Shearer, <em>Untitled. </em>(Dennis Ha/Courtesy of Steven Shearer)
Vancouver photographer’s billboards taken down after complaints about being ‘disturbing’

‘Context is everything’ when it comes to understanding these images, says visual art professor Catherine Heard

Most Read