For the second time in as many years, the Vanier Towhees senior boys basketball team won the Cambie Tournament in Richmond on the weekend. Their opponents were 3A schools from the Lower Mainland.
In their first game, the Towhees beat Richmond’s AW McNeill, which Vanier coach Larry Street described as a “feisty” basketball school with a prominent program.
“It was going to be a matchup of a big team versus a small, quick team,” he said.
The back-and-forth game showcased two different styles. Vanier was up five points at the half, 32-27. The second half stayed about the same, and Vanier’s bench kept the Richmond team from scoring at the end. Every Towhee scored, with Riley Meyerhoff dropping 16 points, 14 rebounds and six assists. Levi Timmermans also earned a double double with 13 rebounds and 11 points. Kyle Piercy knocked down 14 points. Final score: 67-61 for Vanier.
Game two was a semi-final against Delview of Delta.
“This was an interesting matchup for Vanier as Delview’s primary offence was to fire up threes whenever they had a look,” Street said. “By game’s end, they were five of 32, and Vanier’s pressure defence made it tough to focus on making the big shot.”
Aidan Bernard earned player of the game for his tenacious checking of Delview’s top scorer. Timmermans had 25 points and 12 rebounds, while Piercy impressed with his athleticism with 18 points, six assists and eight rebounds. Dawson Kipp was also vital with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Final score: Vanier 77, Delview 61.
Vanier squared off with Gladstone of Vancouver in the championship final, which promised to be another interesting matchup of big versus small.
But what made Gladstone a tough stop was their relentless drives and good finishes over our bigs,” Street said.
The half-time score was knotted at 32, and the third quarter was equally close until late when Vanier outscored the Vancouver squad 14-6. An excellent defensive effort in the fourth by all Towhees managed to clinch the trophy.
The final score was 75-63 Vanier. Timmermans had 24 points and 13 rebounds, while player of the game Meyerhoff was a beast with 23 points and 21 rebounds. Street said Piercy was a true leader with nine assists and seven rebounds while handling the defensive pressure of the quick Gladstone guards.
Timmermans was named tournament MVP and Meyerhoff earned an all-star selection.
The Towhees next take on Semiahmoo of White Rock — the fifth-ranked 4A school in B.C. — at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Vanier.
“This is an annual match that is usually very entertaining,” Street said.