The host Vanier Towhees senior boys basketball team went 2-1 at their annual Gus Vesterback Tournament on the weekend.
The four-team round robin event ran Dec. 9-10. Vanier took on Maple Ridge Ramblers in their first game on Friday and came up short, 62-50. “Maple Ridge has proven they are a top 15 program again with decisive wins over North Delta and Terry Fox last week, so we knew we were going against a formidable foe,” said Vanier head coach Larry Street.
A well-coached crew led by 47-year stalwart Ken Dockendorf, Ridge got off to a fast 12-4 start. A different five came off the bench for Vanier and changed the course of the game – for a while – as the half time score was 30-29.
The second half saw Ridge slowly inch ahead, point by point, and Vanier just couldn’t stick with them. “A valiant comeback in the middle of the fourth quarter made it interesting, but when a team shoots only 23 per cent, you’re not going to win many close games,” Street noted.
All other facets of the game were good for Vanier except the scoring. Kyle Piercy had 11 points and Riley Meyerhoff was a beast on the boards with 13, mostly in the second half.
Vanier’s poor shooting continued Saturday against Vic High as the Towhees trailed by 17 at the half. “Vic High was on a high, and playing very well,” Street said.
An adjustment at half time changed the game as Vanier started putting the ball in the hoop, making a 30-point turn around and Vic High scored only 16 points in the second half.
Coen Leopkey and Kyle Piercy each had 12 points while Levi Timmerman led the way with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Riley Meyerhoff had 12 rebounds and was a terror on defence.
“As a team we buckled down defensively in the second half, and the result was a worthy 62-53 win,” Street said.
Vanier was scheduled to play Kwalikum Kondors later on Saturday, but Kwalikum had too many sick players and injuries, and with only five left decided it was best to not play two games in one day.
“Good decision, and instead the Towhees played a rousing intra-squad game with Rheyden Le leading the way with 36 points,” Street said.
Kwalikum finished 1-2, beating Vic High 61-50 and losing 54-48 to Maple Ridge before heading hme. Maple Ridge went 3-0 with wins over Vanier 62-50, Kwalikum 54-48 and Vic High 72-36. Vic High went 0-3, losing to Kwalikum 61-50, Vanier 62-53 and Maple Ridge 72-36.
The Towhees now hit the tournament trail, playing the W.J. Mouat on Dec. 15-17, Belmont on Dec. 28-30 and Claremont on Jan. 5-7.
They have a league game Jan. 10 in Nanaimo against Dover Bay then host the Towhee Tournament (with Rutland, Parkland, New West, Kwalikum, Timberline, Royal Bay and W.J. Mouat) on Jan. 13-14.