The G.P. Vanier Towhees split a pair of senior boys high school basketball games last week, losing to Dover Bay and beating Port Alberni.
On Tuesday, Jan. 27 at Nanaimo, Dover Bay started strong and led 17-9, but the Towhees pulled closer at the end of the quarter to come within four, 17-13. The second quarter was a back and forth affair, with much of the Vanier bench needing to play due to foul trouble. Still a four-point lead for Dover at the half.
“The second half proved as physical as the first, with the smaller Dover players trying to get physical with the bigger Towhees, and it was paying off since the referees continued to say ‘We’re letting them play!'” said Vanier head coach Larry Street.
Much to the chagrin of the Courtenay team, a lot was let go and the game boiled down to some key plays at the end. “Mistakes at the scorers’ table didn’t help, and with some suspect calls in the last two minutes we lost 77-70,” Street said.
Anders Storgaard led the Towhees with 26 points and four assists on 53 per cent shooting, Chase Hobenshield endured a lot of shoving to add 17 points while Bryce Olsen was very strong on the boards with 11, while trying to hold down Dover’s Christian Wigmore on defence. Tyler Knopp chucked in another 10 boards while gathering 13 rebounds.
On Thursday, Jan. 29 the Towhees were at Port Alberni. “What a great facility to play in! A beautiful new school with a top class gym,” Street said.
Maybe the Towhees were admiring a bit too much in the first quarter, down 12-4 early, yet coming back to tie at the end of the quarter 13-13.
The second quarter was much the same, and a number of the Towhee bench came in to keep it close. Vanier led at half time 30-26. The third quarter was a completely different story as the Towhees were fed up with how they were playing, and played a mixture of zone and man-to-man.
At one point the Towhees, led by Storgaard’s six steals and two dunks, outscored Alberni 26-2, and ran away with the game. The last quarter was a good chance for the Vanier bench to get some much needed game time and the score ended 68-42.
Storgaard led with 28 points, seven steals, and eight rebounds. Knopp chipped in 11 points and nine rebounds as well as eight aggressive steals.
Adding eight points each were Olsen and Hobenshield. “Bryce had nine rebounds as well. Point guard Brandon Balon was a pest again on defence with four steals and he added five assists,” said Street.
The Towhees are currently 19-6 overall with 3-1 league record. There are four more games left. This coming weekend they travel to Langley to play #3 ranked Walnut Grove who recently defeated #2 Oak Bay. Then on Saturday they play much-improved Maple Ridge before coming home for their last two league games.
On Feb. 10 the Towhees travel to Duncan to play an important first place game against Cowichan and then their last game of the year on Feb. 12 at home is against Port Alberni.
“That is also our annual Senior Night, as well as an Elementary School Free Throw shooting competition. Schools, call me if you want to attend,” Street said.
– G.P. Vanier Towhees