The G.P. Vanier Towhees senior boys basketball team learned some valuable lessons at a tournament at New Westminster Secondary. Having to overcome not having a couple of starters, the bench had to step up and help the Towhees in their game plans.
Up first was a rematch with Killarney Cougars of Vancouver, whom the Towhees played in their own tournament. Beating them twice wasn’t in the cards, as the Killarney boys came out with an “in your face” style of defending, and the Towhees were not prepared for it, coughing up 28 turnovers.
“Shooting 39 per cent didn’t help either, although we did out-rebound them and force our own share of turnovers,” said Vanier coach Larry Street. In the end, the Cougars prevailed 78-73 in an exciting, tough game. Player of the Game Joss Biggins had 18 points and seven rebounds while Bryce Olsen scored 16 points while getting that double double with 13 rebounds. Colton Derycke and Jakob Jungwirth both chipped in nine points with Harry Li scoring eight.
The second game was against Rockridge of West Van, a powerhouse in rugby circles and certainly a group of muscular big boys. Unfortunately for them, the Vanier lads had much more basketball skill and savvy, dumping them 88-47. The two top scorers again were Biggins (30) and Olsen (22) while young Chase Hobenshield chipped in 13 points.
Player of the Game Olsen had a monster rebounding game of 21 which help earn him a big plus/minus of 45, a season high for the team. Li also did well on the boards with nine.
The third place game was against Street’s last school (1993-94) Port Moody. Former national team player and SFU star Alex Devlin had his squad well prepared and they turned up the heat with a good pressure defence, which the Towhees struggled with, especially not having point guard Derycke (injury) and forward Foster Dewitt.
The Towhees lost this one 81-72, making a big comeback late in the game, but to no avail. Biggins was the only bright light with 33 points and 10 rebounds, although Li snatched another nine rebounds, and Grade 11 Reece Meyerhoff, who is continually improving at a fast rate, chipped in 13 points.
Next up for the Towhees was a road trip to the Summit Tournament in Bend, Oregon after Christmas.
– Vanier Towhees