The Vanier Towhees senior boys basketball brought home a fourth-place finish from the 12-team Chilliwack Storm Tournament, held Dec. 4-6 in the friendly confines of the brand new Chilliwack High School.
The visit was similar to the season-opening tournament in Duncan last weekend in that the boys lost their first game again, by only one basket (66-63), and it was a game that was very winnable. “But due to having a young squad and missing two key Grade 12s because of injury, we squandered a 10-point lead and lost in the closing seconds,” said Vanier head coach Larry Street.
The first game was against a top 3A team from Kamloops, Valleyview. “A very well coached and skilled squad they made up for their lack in size compared to us with guile and excellent skills in ball-handling,” Street said. “Their continuous trapping also threw our boys off their game and they just couldn’t take good care of the ball…29 turnovers.
“Needless to say, our young squad learned lots, and a bonus to not having all your starters is that more younger players get to play and learn the ropes early in the season. Anders Storgaard (22 points), Tyler Knopp (18 points and 16 rebounds) and Chase Hobenshield (12 points) were the primary highlights in this game, and helped show us we have some depth in scoring,” said Street.
Vanier’s second game was against Kelly Road from Prince George, and all the Towhees (10 of 13) who were healthy got to play. “The first half was closer than we wanted but the Kelly Road boys were feisty and giving a good battle. Luckily our defence, our best attribute this time of year, shut them down the second half and they only scored 14 points. The Towhees created many turnovers en route to a 95-45 win.”
Leading the way with his best game to date was Knopp with 37 points and 15 rebounds. Storgaard added 18 with eight assists, while Brandon Balon chipped in 13 points. Big Chase Hobenshield shot 100 per cent, adding eight points.
In their third game for fourth place the Towhees faced Sahali from Kamloops, a perennial top 3A team. Everyone played again and the defence was the key holding Sahali to only 41 points while the Towhees ended with 58. Knopp had 15 points and 13 rebounds, Storgaard 11 points and 13 rebounds and Hobenshield added 12 points. Balon gave up his body, drawing three charges with three steals, three assists and six points.
FREE THROWS Up next for the senior boys is the Gus Vesterback Tournament, Dec. 12-13 … Street says all four boys teams will be close in abilities, all are well coached, and it should be a good start to the team’s home schedule this season … the senior girls Towhees co-host the tourney, which tips off at 2:30 p.m. Friday and runs till 10 p.m. Saturday …
– Vanier Towhees Basketball