Countdown to Playoffs

Monday, February 12, 2018 - By: Olamide O, Privett ‘18; Photo by Zach L, Ellis '19

After being on the road for the past couple of weeks, the Brentwood Senior Boys Basketball team returned home to host their annual Countdown to the Playoffs Tournament. Aside from a league game against Gulf Islands, this tournament was the team’s last chance to play opposing teams before the playoffs begin. 

In their first game, Brentwood was matched up against the Seycove Seyhawks. To start the game, both teams got into an offensive groove; they exchanged baskets for much of the quarter before Brentwood pulled ahead in the closing minutes. Brentwood did have good energy on the defensive end of the game, but some late rotations led to easy baskets for their opponents. After one period of play, Brentwood led 23-17. 

In the second quarter, Brentwood tightened up a bit with their rotations, limiting the Seyhawks to 12 points in the quarter. On offense, the team continued to move the ball well, but the shots were not falling. Still, Brentwood went into halftime leading 38-29. In the third period, Brentwood’s defensive rotations matched their energy, wearing down their opponents. Due to Seycove’s fatigue, Brentwood was able to take advantage of their depth, putting up 27 points in the period compared to Seycove’s 10. After three quarters of play, Brentwood was up 65-39. The fourth quarter was similar to the third, with Brentwood moving the ball and scoring at one end while defending well at the other. In the end, Brentwood won the game 92-58. Brendan S, Ellis ‘18, had a complete game, tallying 23 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and five steals. Bruno C, Whittall ‘18, Somto D, Rogers’ 18, and Johnny M, Ellis ‘18, combined for 41 points and 21 rebounds. Pleasing to Coach Gage and Coach Sullivan, Brentwood outworked Seycove on the glass, grabbing 58 rebounds to Seycove’s 36. 

The following night, the team played the Mark Isfeld Spirit Bears. Brentwood once again came out with great defensive energy, holding Isfeld to just four points in the first quarter. While Brentwood did not shoot great, their defense allowed them to get easy run-outs and fastbreak buckets. After one quarter, Brentwood was up 20-4. In the second quarter, Isfeld hit some shots early to decrease the deficit, but Brentwood responded, going on a run to increase their lead to 23 by the end of the first half. The second half saw Brentwood continue to play excellent defense, making their opponents work every offensive possession. On offense, the team wasn’t making much from outside, but got the ball in the paint often, leading to hoops around the rim. Limiting Isfeld to 21 points in the second half, Brentwood won the game 91-41. Brendan and Bruno led the team, tallying 18 points and 17 points respectively. Olamide O, Privett ‘18, and Casper P, Whittall ‘18, set the tone on the interior, combining for 18 points and 11 rebounds. Again, Brentwood demolished their opponents on the glass, winning the rebound battle 43-19.

The next morning, Brentwood played the MEI Eagles. Unlike the previous two games, Brentwood was a little flat on the defensive side of the ball. However, they shot the ball well, allowing them to build a large lead. Brentwood was up 26-15 after one quarter, and 49-32 at halftime, but the coaches felt that MEI was still a threat and that the boys needed to sharpen up to put them away. In the third quarter, Brentwood actually moved the ball better than they did in the first half. However, shots refused to fall for the boys, resulting in several empty possessions. Though their defensive intensity was improved, Brentwood had occasional defensive lapses – poor rotations or failing to rebound – allowing the Eagles to get back into the game. What was a 17-point game at halftime was suddenly a nine-point game at the end of three quarters. In the fourth, Brentwood desperately tried to find some offense, but the ball just would not go in the basket. On defense, several of the Eagles’ players began to heat up from outside, hitting heavily contested three-pointers to decrease the deficit. Before Brentwood knew it, MEI had the ball, in a two-point game with 11 seconds left. Fortunately, their defense kicked in, as Johnny M contested a three-pointer, forcing an airball, which was rebounded by Somto D, securing the 81-79 victory  for Brentwood. Brendan S and Bruno C again led Brentwood in scoring with 17 points and 15 points, respectively. Ian G, Rogers ‘19, dropped 14 points off the bench, Somto D had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds, and Johnny M had five blocks. An interesting stat was the team’s passing; no player had more than five assists (Casper P), but four players had four assists, a testament to the team’s ball movement. 

In the finals, Brentwood played their rivals from Shawnigan Lake. As expected, the Woodward Sportsplex was packed with Brentwood fans, all hoping their home team could beat Shawnigan for the third time this season. To start the game, Brentwood had some defensive difficulties, losing sight of Shawnigan’s shooters. As the quarter progressed, Brentwood tightened things up defensively, allowing them to get easy things on the offensive end. After trailing for much of the first quarter, Brentwood led 17-15. In the second quarter, Brentwood ran their motion well, continuing to get easy looks. With our shored up defense, Shawnigan had a difficult time coming by baskets. By halftime, Brentwood was up by 13 points.

While the teams were in the locker room, the SAC hosted an almost half-court shooting contest, where the winner could choose between a Spirit Week prize pack or a dinner with Captain Bruno C to the bistro. Unfortunately, no one was able to make the shot. 

In the second half, Brentwood’s defense began to wear down Shawnigan, extending their lead up to 40 points. In the end, Brentwood came away with the 72-41 victory, winning the tournament for the second year in a row. What pleased the coaches was that though Brentwood did not shoot the ball particularly well, they won the game with their defense. Bruno C led Brentwood with 19 points while Somto D added 14 points and nine rebounds. 

Following the game, there were individuals from both teams who were recognized from their weekend play. Casper P and Johnny M were named Tournament All-Stars and Bruno C was the Tournament MVP: hopefully a hoodie can make up for the steak dinner from the Bistro he didn’t. 

With playoffs just around the corner, the team was glad they could enter them feeling good about their play. We would like to thank Shawnigan Lake School for co-hosting the tournament. Also, thank you to the fans who came out the games (and the teachers who let them out of class Saturday morning). Finally, thank you to Mrs McLean and Megan Adams and their Hype Squad for keeping the energy high during all the games and throwing Spirit Week swag throughout the games. See you all during South Islands after midterm!

Olamide O, Privett ‘18

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