Our Senior Girls Basketball team

Senior Girls Basketball

The SMUS Senior Girls Basketball team will open the BC AAA Championship tournament on Wednesday at the Langley Events Centre, looking to take the final step in their pursuit of a provincial crown.

The Blue Jags, Island AAA champions and ranked at or near the top of the BC Top 10 for the entire season, will face Little Flower Academy in their first game of the 16-team tournament in a 7:45 pm tip off. Provincially No. 2-ranked SMUS is on the same side of the draw as the No. 3 South Kamloops Titans and on the opposite side of the No. 1 Brookswood Bobcats.

The Blue Jags have had an outstanding season, with a 23-7 overall record and boasting a number of returnees from last year’s team which dropped a close 67-64 decision to Abbotsford in the BC championship game. The provincial tournament concludes on Saturday at the LEC.

“The team has been playing at a very high level all season,” says Head Coach Lindsay Brooke. “We are an experienced group and are hungry for another crack at the title.”

Senior Boys Basketball

The Senior Boys Basketball season ended in heartbreaking fashion on the weekend when they fell 79-73 to rival Lambrick Park in the Vancouver Island AA Championship tournament third-place game at Brentwood College.

The Blue Jags led by four points with less than four minutes remaining before a Lambrick surge decided the contest. The win gave the Lions the third and final Island berth into the BC AA Championship tournament. Champion Brentwood College and runner-up John Barsby of Nanaimo earned the Island’s other provincial berths.

Ranked No. 6 among BC AA teams heading into the Island tournament, SMUS opened on Thursday with a 72-62 win over Gulf Islands. Grade 12 Kian Colgate led the Blue Jags to the win with a 25-point performance while Davis Hardy had 10 points and Will Woods added nine.

The victory moved SMUS into Friday’s semifinal, where it faced host Brentwood College, BC’s fifth-ranked AA team. The game was close for the first half, with Brentwood leading just 33-30 at the break, but the North Island No. 1 seed pulled away in the second half for a 77-48 victory. Colgate and Hardy once again led the way for SMUS with 13 points each.

That loss sent the Blue Jags to the backside of the draw, needing to win twice on Saturday to land a BC berth. In its morning game, SMUS beat Highland of Comox 78-56 with Colgate and Lincoln Faulkner scoring 17 points apiece, Will Woods adding 11 and Elliot Mairet 10.

The Blue Jags had not been expecting to meet the provincially third-ranked Lions in the Island third-place game. But Lambrick also found itself battling for the last Island BC berth after an upset loss to Barsby in Friday’s other semifinal.

SMUS battled hard against the Lions, leading by one point after three quarters and up 62-58 midway through the fourth. But Lambrick fought back, breaking a 70-70 tie and taking the lead for good on an and-one three-pointer by star guard Blake Pye in the dying minutes.

Colgate led the Blue Jags in the loss with 25 points while Hardy had 19. Colgate was named a first-team Island tournament all-star for SMUS while Hardy was a second-team selection.

Junior Girls Basketball

The SMUS Junior Girls entered the 24-team BC Championship tournament this past week in dramatic fashion, as the 20th-seeded Blue Jags upset No. 13 Seaquam 52-15 in their opening game at Pacific Academy in Surrey.

Elspeth Rodger led the Blue Jags to the impressive win, scoring 21 points to earn player of the game honours. Teammate Indigo Edgington added 13 points while Mya Beare had 10 and Mikaela Dubé eight.

Just three hours later, SMUS had to play the tournament’s No. 4 seed, Holy Cross of Surrey. The Crusaders jumped out to a 12-2 lead to start the game. The Blue Jags fought back hard and played their higher-seeded opponents evenly the rest of the game in an eventual 47-35 loss. Edgington had 12 points to lead SMUS in the game while Dubé added nine.

On Saturday, SMUS faced 12th-seeded Riverside, a team the Blue Jags had lost to by six points earlier in the month. “We held them to just two points in the first half and ended up with a decisive 43-21 victory,” says SMUS Head Coach Tina Lum.

Rodger led the way with 15 points in the win while Dubé had 10. Crystal Cai was named player of the game for her impressive performance on the defensive end.

The Blue Jags played again on Saturday evening, beating Notre Dame 52-31. Rodger scored 21 points for SMUS and Dubé was selected player of the game after scoring 16 points and grabbing a similar number of rebounds.

The Blue Jags’ fifth and final game in three days came against the tenacious Jaffrey Rebels. In a hard-fought, back-and-forth contest, SMUS emerged with a 40-36 win. Cai scored nine points and was named player of the game. Edgington was the Blue Jags’ leading scorer with 11 points.

The SMUS Junior Girls, never ranked in the BC Top 10 all year, finished the season in ninth place in the province with a 23-7 record.

“The team really came together as a unit at the right time,” Lum says. “They played their best basketball of their season at the BC tournament – a coaches’ dream really.”

Junior Boys Basketball

The SMUS Junior Boys began the BC Junior Championship tournament in Langley on Saturday with high hopes of making a run in the 32-team event.

Those hopes took a hit in the Junior Jags’ tournament opener, however, when they faced the Killarney Cougars in an early-morning affair. SMUS got off to a slow start, turning the ball over multiple times, and found itself trailing its Vancouver opponent by 11 at halftime. Unfortunately, that deficit proved too much to overcome. The Blue Jags played much better in the second half, battling back to within six points but couldn’t manage to pull closer, struggling to score and eventually falling 50-42. Guard Dani Pelyhe led the way with 14 points in the loss while forward Jaiden Daniels had 10.

While being relegated to the consolation side was disappointing, the SMUS Juniors have so far made the most of the backside of the draw, winning their next two games of the tournament. In their second game on Saturday afternoon, the Blue Jags beat Langley’s RE Mountain 68-44. Guard Henry Williamson scored 16 points to pace SMUS and earn player of the game honours in the win while Pelyhe added 14, Eliot Tait 11 and Daniels 10.

On Sunday, the Blue Jags overcame an eight-point third-quarter deficit to beat Kalamalka 66-59. Pelyhe was the player of the game, scoring 26 points to lead SMUS while Tait added 11, Daniels 10 and Williamson nine. Tait’s lay-up off a fullcourt pass from Will Zielinski on a press-breaking out-of-bounds play extended the Blue Jags’ late fourth-quarter lead to four points and began a string of five straight points to end the contest for SMUS.

SMUS was set to play Burnaby Mountain in its fourth game of the tournament on Monday afternoon and will wrap up the BC Championships on Tuesday before heading home.