The Vanier senior boys basketball team made a valiant effort at going all the way, but lost an exciting semi-final match against Nanaimo District Secondary (NDSS) — the surprise winner of the 50th annual Towhee Tournament on the weekend.
Vanier won its first game 66 to 59 over Westview of Maple Ridge, a Fraser Valley AAA team that was efficient in passing and creating problems for Vanier on defence. The Towhees were up 48 to 45 at three-quarters time, producing an exciting fourth quarter. A 10-point run in the middle of the fourth proved timely for Vanier. ‘Twin Towhers’ Levi Timmermans and Peter Greaves made a big difference. Timmermans led scoring with 19 and Greaves had 13 points. Player-of-the-game Timmermans was also a monster on the boards with 17 rebounds. Dawson Kipp chipped in eight points and three assists, and was excellent on court defense.
Vanier faced NDSS in the second game. Their 4A opponent was difficult to contain, and their inside players were physical. The Towhees had good team scoring from Timmermans (24), Greaves (13), Kipp (11), Riley Meyerhoff (eight) and Kyle Piercy (six) but were inconsistent with team defences.
“Nanaimo had many weapons, inside and out,” Vanier coach Larry Street said. “The game was kept close with two minutes left, but NDSS proved too strong at guard where they controlled the ball late in the game.”
The final score was 80-71 for Nanaimo.
The game for third place against Parkland of Saanich (a 2A school) provided an opportunity for all Towhee members to play meaningful minutes in a 75-47 win for Vanier. Timmermans scored 12 points, Piercy 11 , and Greaves, Meyerhoff and Ethan Lloyd each had nine.
Defensive standout Bentley Barth chipped in five points and three solid games of defensive work, earning the Nate Dasilva Towhee Award for the tournament. Meyerhoff earned a second all-star nod, while Timmermans was a first all-star.
Vanier’s next home game is a Jan. 27 exhibition against top 10 powerhouse 4A Semiahmoo of White Rock. Their next home league game is Jan. 30 against Mark Isfeld. This week, the Towhees play Ballenas in Parksville Tuesday in league play, then head to Richmond to defend the Cambie Tournament title on Thursday.