The Vanier Towhees senior boys basketball team won the triple A North Island Championship last weekend in Port Alberni, a qualifier for the Island Championships.
After a first round bye, Vanier played Wellington of Nanaimo in a semi-final match Friday night.
“This was a fantastic game, close throughout and very competitive,” coach Larry Street said.
The Towhees started slowly and were down 7-2, then 14-9. The game evened by the end of the first quarter, but early in the second half Wellington went up 45-38. The Towhees, led by Levi Timmermans, busted out some defence, and tied the game at 51 by the end of the third. The fourth quarter remained close right to the end, where the Towhees hit key free throws to ice it away. Ryder Jenks led Wellington with a clever 39 points, while Timmermans hit for 34 points, and 17 rebounds. Bentley Barth added 10 points and eight rebounds, Aidan Bernard had eight points and eight rebounds, and Kyle Piercy scored eight points and six assists.
Final score: 72-68 Vanier.
The Towhees faced Carihi in a “great final,” Street said.
A skilled, sharp shooting squad who play well together, Street said the Campbell River side was a handful for the Towhees, pressing Vanier the entire game, hoping to wear down the bigger team.
“Both teams seemed to have little problem scoring and did what they had to do to play their game,” he said. “Lots of threes and drives for Carihi, and good inside looks for the Towhees.”
Vanier prevailed 89-84.
Leading Vanier was league MVP Timmermans with 27 points and 17 rebounds. Riley Meyerhoff had 10 points and 14 big rebounds, chipping in an additional four assists. Third big man Bernard chipped in 16 big points and 11 rebounds, while Piercy soared with 24 points and nine rebounds, along with seven steals.
Next up is the Island Championship Tournament at Carihi, starting Thursday. Vanier plays Stelly’s (South #4) at 4 p.m. in its first game. The top three teams advance to provincials March 7-10 in Langley.