The G.P. Vanier Towhees senior boys basketball team travelled to the Fraser Valley on the weekend to get in two good games before upcoming league games, and the playoffs in less than two weeks.
On Friday night, Feb. 6., the boys played the #7 ranked 4A team in B.C. in Walnut Grove of Langley…and had their “pants” handed back to them.
“The Gators were just too athletic, experienced and skilled for the nervous Towhees, who started slowly and never recovered from some aggressive full court pressure from the Grove boys,” said Vanier head coach Larry Street.
“We started with an 8-2 run at the beginning of the second half, and then our top player Anders Storgaard went down with a badly sprained ankle. Our balloon busted then. Final score: 97-54.
“We need to learn to have composure every play phase in the game, and to be tougher mentally to play with teams like Walnut Grove,” Street said. “Apparently Oak Bay is very similar to them so the Vanier boys will have to step it up over the next month of play left.”
Leading Vanier with 17 points and 10 rebounds was senior Bryce Olsen. Adding 11 points in the first half was Storgaard (plus six rebounds) and through the game Tyler Knopp added eight points and 10 rebounds. “Just killing us was the 30 turnovers and poor shooting which needs to stop at this point in the season,” Street said.
Saturday afternoon the Towhees visited Maple Ridge. The teams played each other at the Gus Vesterback Tournament back in early December, so they were familiar with each other’s systems for this game.
The score was tied at the end of every quarter, and even the end of the game. So, overtime was in store for the second time this year for Vanier. The Towhees led throughout OT and won 65-56.
Four players were in double figures scoring: Olsen with 16, Chase Hobenshield with 14, Wyatt Strachan with 12 and Knopp with 10. Knopp also added a double in rebounding with 11. Brandon Balon was solid with seven points, three assists, four steals and lots of energy on defence.
This Thursday (Feb. 12) Vanier hosts Alberni in their last league game of the year. Game time is 7 p.m., and it is also Senior Night for graduating players from both the boys and girls teams. Halftime will feature an Elementary School Hoop Shoot for local schools.
– G.P. Vanier Towhees