Two wins against 4A opponents at the Claremont Spartan Classic on Jan. 8-10 should stand the Vanier Towhees in good stead as they prepare for a busy week of senior boys basketball on their home court.
Vanier opens North Island League play Tuesday (7 p.m.) against Dover Bay Dolphins, then host their 12-team Towhee Invitational on Jan. 15-17 with several top-ranked 4A, 3A and 2A teams in town for the fun.
At the 12-team Claremont round robin event, the 4A Towhees dropped their Thursday opener to #3 3A McNair Marlins from Richmond 85-70. “A very good team, but much smaller than us,” said Vanier head coach Larry Street.
“Very good shooters, they beat us with lots of threes. Still, we’ve lost four games this year in B.C. and all were lost on the foul line. In this one we were 9-of-22 and it was a game we should have won.”
Anders Storgaard led the way with 25 points while Bryce Olsen and Brandon Balon added 17 each and Tyler Knopp tallied 13. Knopp (9) and Olsen (7) were top rebounders while Storgaard also had four steals and three assists.
On Friday, the Towhees’ size was too much for 4A Island team Belmont Bulldogs and everyone played in an 86-52 victory. Knoops (21), Storgaard and Olsen (17 each) and Chase Hobenshield (12) were the top scorers. Knopp had 15 rebounds and Hobenshield 10 as Vanier out-rebounded Belmont (who launched 36 treys) 59-30.
On Saturday, all the Towhees saw action again in an 86-60 win over 4A Island team Spectrum. “It was a good team game. Like most games this year, we had four players in double-figure scoring,” noted Street.
Olsen had 24 points, Storgaard 20 with 11 dunks, Knopp 12 points and nine rebounds, and Hobenshield with 12 points and 10 boards.
“Anders led the way statistically with a +24 … 20 points, eight rebounds, six assists and eight steals. Brandon as usual was our energy player who consistently plays hard on defence and checks the other team’s best shooters.”