Brentwood Basketball Ends 2017 with a W
With just over a week left of Winter Break, most Brentwood students would be lazing around with their families after stuffing themselves with Christmas dinner. There was, however, no down time for the Brentwood Senior Boys Basketball team. The boys were set to play in the 2nd Annual Senior Boys Invitational Tournament at the University of Victoria, where three of the top teams in the province would face three of the best teams from Washington State.
After nearly two weeks off, the boys needed to get back into rhythm before the tournament, thus, the team slowly filtered in as early as December 26th for a practice on the 27th. Unfortunately, Jeff M, Ellis ‘18, Fynn F, Rogers ‘19, and Grant D, Rogers ‘19 could not make it back for tournament; team manager Calvin “Chewy” C, Privett ‘19 was also unavailable. Regardless, the team forged on with their practice and were lucky to be joined by former Brentwood legends Devin C, Ellis ‘15, and Ender M, Whittall ‘17. The team used the practice to somewhat regain their game legs and re-familiarize themselves with their sets.
On the 28th, we had our first game against the North Kitsap Vikings. The team got out to an outstanding start thanks to some lights-out shooting from Nathan P, Ellis ‘18, who hit several shots from mid and three-point range. Brendan S also added to the offensive onslaught, hitting a myriad of three-pointers and dishing out a handful of assists. By the end of the first half, Brentwood had established a 54-27 lead on the Vikings. In the second half, Brentwood increased its lead, thanks to the continued hot shooting and aggressive rim-attack from Bruno C, Whittall ‘18. In the end, Brentwood won the game 90-55. Game MVP Nathan P led Brentwood with 23 points while Brendan S contributed 22 points and eight assists to the win. Bruno C also had a great all-around game with 17 points, nine rebounds, and five assists.
The following day, Brentwood was matched up against the Seattle Academy Cardinals. The team once again got out to a large lead, thanks to Nathan P and Brendan S continuing their hot shooting. After one quarter, the team was up 41-15, a score which increased to 70-30 at halftime. The second half saw Brentwood run their offense smoothly while continuing to wreak havoc on the boards. The team won the game 104-50, the largest margin of victory of the tournament. Game MVP Brendan S and Nathan P again led the offensive charge with 23 points and 22 points, respectively. Johnny M, Ellis ‘18, played great off the bench scoring 15 points and gathering eight rebounds while Bruno C showed off his versatility, scoring 13 points, grabbing 11 rebounds, and dishing out seven assists.
Originally, Brentwood was set to play the final American team, the Vashon Island Pirates on day three. However, a re-arrangement set up a Vancouver Island showdown between the #1 ranked AA and #1 AAAA teams in Brentwood and the Oak Bay Bays, respectively. Both teams came into the game undefeated, making for an extremely entertaining final.
Brentwood made their interior dominance felt immediately, as Somto D, Rogers ‘18, finished in the paint, leading Brentwood to an early 14-5 lead. The Bays fought back to tie the game at 18, but Brentwood extended their lead to five points by the period’s end. Not to go out quietly, Oak Bay went on a massive run led by their backcourt of Caelan S and Diego M. A five-point deficit quickly turned into a 14-point lead for the Bays with just over four minutes left in the first half. After a timeout, Brentwood battled back, reducing the deficit to seven points with a halftime score of 46-39. During the break, Coaches Gage and Sullivan highlighted that this is exactly what the team needed, some adversity, and they were intrigued to see how the boys would respond; respond we did. Brentwood opened the half with a huge run to lower the deficit to one point just 60 seconds into the half, eventually taking the lead midway through the third quarter, finishing the period up 65-62.
The fourth quarter was a hotly-contested dog fight. Brentwood turnovers led to Oak Bay baskets, tying the game up at 65. The two teams would continue to battle, both teams so equally matched, there were four ties in the period. A loose ball scramble led to an Oak Bay layup, and another three from Diego M gave the Bays a five-point advantage with just over two minutes left. To make matters worse, Bruno C picked up his fifth foul and had to watch the final minutes of the game from the bench. For the team and Brentwood fans, the game appeared all but over, but the team wouldn’t go down without a fight. Somto D shimmied his way to a couple of baskets to narrow the deficit to one. An Oak Bay free throw left Brentwood down by two points with just over a minute left, and on the subsequent possession, the team turned the ball over. Things were looking grim for the team, but again, they dug deep and made a run. Brendan S stole an out-of-bounds pass to tie the game up with thirty seconds left. Then, after a missed three-pointer, Somto D headmanned the ball to Johnny M, who barrelled through the lane for a layup that gave Brentwood the lead with 16 seconds left. An Oak Bay turnover and clutch free throws from Ian G, Rogers’ 19, solidified the win for Brentwood 89-85. Game MVP Somto D had a huge game with 25 points, while Bruno C added 20 points to the win before fouling out. Nathan P and Johnny M contributed 13 and 11 points, respectively.
After the thrilling game, several awards were handed out. Casper P, Whittall ‘18, won the Team Award. Somto D was named a Tournament All-Star for his monster final game and Bruno C was named the Tournament MVP for consistent outstanding play.
This tournament was critical for the team; it proved that we can go up against the very best and even when faced with adversity, we have the skill and poise to come through. Not only did the team grow on the court, but we bonded off of it as well making meals and watching movies together back at school. The team aims to carry this momentum into the new year. The boys would like to thank all of the fans who came down to UVic to cheer us on, Richard for driving us to and from school, and Juan N, Whittall ‘20, for filming the games and making some great scrambled eggs. Happy New Year and see you on the court in 2018!
Olamide O, Privett ‘18