Senior Boys Win Islands
The Senior Boys Basketball team, defending AA champions, have won their first two games at Provincials and play Seycove at 8:45 this evening at the Langley Events Centre.
Many high school athletes take their sports for granted, not truly appreciating the opportunity they have until their season is over. It is a privilege for teams to be playing this late into the season, something the Brentwood Senior Boys Basketball team certainly appreciates. After coming first at South Islands, the team had a few days to prepare for the Island Championships at St. Michaels University School this past weekend. With only two guaranteed births to Provincials from the Island, Brentwood knew they would have to be at their best to make it back to the Langley Events Centre.
In the first round, Brentwood faced off against Pacific Christian School. While the team shot the ball well in the first quarter, the defense was lackadaisical, allowing their opponents to score too easily. Though Brentwood was up 29-14 after the first quarter, Coaches Gage & Sullivan implored the boys to play better defense. They responded well in the second period, limiting Pacific Christian to only four points. At halftime, Brentwood was up 51-18. The third quarter featured much of the same, with Brentwood playing good defense leading to easy offense, leading 76-28 after three quarters. In the fourth quarter, the coaches were able to play some interesting lineups that had not played together over the course of the season. This led to some confusion on both ends, allowing Pacific Christian to decrease the deficit in the final quarter. Nonetheless, Brentwood won the game 91-52. Nathan P, Ellis ‘18, led the team with 14 points while Brendan S, Ellis ‘18, and Ian G, Rogers ‘19, both contributed 12 points. Somto D, Rogers ‘18, added an efficient 10 points while Fynn F, Rogers ‘19, was voted the Player of the Game with his six points and eight rebounds, while running the offense in the fourth quarter.
In the semifinals, Brentwood was matched up against the St. Michaels Blue Jags. Brentwood came out with excellent defensive intensity, making SMUS work for each basket. On offense, the team was able to get the ball inside early and often, allowing them to score easy buckets. After the first quarter, Brentwood was up 32-10. The second quarter was an offensive struggle for Brentwood. They only mustered 12 points, leaving many layups unfinished. Fortunately, the team’s outstanding defense allowed them to increase their lead, shutting out the Blue Jags to take a 44-10 lead at halftime. In the third quarter, Brentwood was able to get back to their scoring ways, dropping 26 points in the period while limiting SMUS to eight points. Eventually, Brentwood went on to win the game, 80-29. Bruno C, Whittall ‘18, led the team with 16 points while Somto D and Ian G both contributed 14. Brendan S added 10 points while Olamide O, Privett ‘18, was voted the Player of the Game dropping his seven points and five rebounds while playing solid defense. The win was not only a good showing for the team, but it also cemented Brentwood’s berth to Provincials.
In the Island Finals, Brentwood was up against their rivals from Shawnigan Lake School, playing the Stags for the fifth time this season. To start the game, Shawnigan came out strong, quickly building a 9-2 advantage. Brentwood battled back to tie the game and take the lead before Shawnigan tied the game at 11 all at the end of the first quarter. The early stages of the second quarter were a battle, with neither team being able to gain control of the game. Shawnigan’s length disrupted Brentwood’s attack, with players overthinking their finishes around the rim, always worried about the lurking defender. Eventually, Brentwood’s defensive pressure allowed them to get easy fastbreak baskets, opening up the game. At halftime, Brentwood was up 40-22. As difficult as the second quarter was for Brentwood, the third quarter was even worse. Neither team scored for the first three minutes, with Brentwood’s first basket coming nearly seven minutes into the period. Though Shawnigan got the lead down to single digits at times, Brentwood ultimately ended the third quarter up by 12 points. To open the final frame, Shawnigan came out firing on all cylinders. They scored inside at will and following a banked three-pointer from their big man, Coach Gage had to call a timeout, as the lead had been cut to three points. Coming out of the timeout, Brentwood went on a run, spurred by lockdown defense and patient offense. Shawnigan only scored two points after their earlier spurt. Ultimately, Brentwood won the game 62-49. Brendan S led the team with 20 points while Bruno C added 14. Nathan P had a near triple-double with 13 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists, and Johnny M, Ellis ‘18, was huge off the bench with his five points, eight rebounds, and excellent defense.
Following the game, there were several awards to be handed out. Nathan & Bruno were First Team All Stars, Bruno and the Best Defensive Player, and Brendan S was the Tournament MVP.
While the team and coaches acknowledge the team had its struggles, they were ultimately proud in the result, the team’s defense, and their poise to pull away down the stretch of games. Surely this will aid the team in their title defense, starting March 7th. Until then, the team will be practicing, fine tuning all their sets and getting in better shape. Wish the boys luck!
Olamide O, Privett ‘18