Seventeen members of the SMUS Squash team travelled to North Vancouver this past weekend to play in the Evergreen Junior Open, highlighted by Elliot Judson’s first-place finish in Tier 8.
Judson came out strong in the final, winning the first two sets decisively before his opponent fought back to a 2-2 draw by winning the next two sets. After a quick reset, Judson regained his length and was able to win the deciding set 11-5 to take top spot.
SMUS athlete Kieran MacKay recorded a second-place finish in Tier 5, battling all weekend in pool play to earn a spot in Sunday’s final. The final went back and forth in games before MacKay forced a deciding set after a dominant fourth game. He fell 11-5 in the fifth to finish second.
Other notable SMUS results on the weekend included: Lucas Quon, third in Tier 1; Roshan Pathak, third in Tier 2; Max Arndt, fourth in Tier 4; Rory Davison, fourth in Tier 5; and Jay Li, fourth in Tier 6.
The SMUS squad is gearing up to host the Pacific North West Junior Championships February 16 to 18, along with Cedar Hill Rec Centre and UVic. This event will see SMUS team members competing against juniors from across Canada.
The SMUS Rowing team showcased exceptional strength and determination at the second annual Kraken Indoor Regatta, hosted by Brentwood College last weekend. With 26 athletes in contention, the team demonstrated resilience in the face of the gruelling two-kilometre race.
Sixteen SMUS athletes secured Top 10 finishes in their respective divisions. In the Open Coxie Crawl event, coxswain Jaclyn Chow clinched a second-place finish, placing narrowly behind a third-year UVic coxswain.
The U17 Novice Men’s event saw outstanding performances from William Zeng (first), Jason Zhang (third) and Tristan Salter (fourth). In the U17 Women’s event, top SMUS finishes included Juliet Crowe (third), Braelyn Rowan (fifth) and Clara Curry (sixth).
Notably, Novice athletes Jane Lee and Elizabeth Hardcastle both achieved personal bests, marking the completion of their first-ever two-kilometre race. Senior athletes Oliver Pressello and Tiger Zhang achieved a significant milestone by finishing with sub-seven-minute times, a remarkable accomplishment in the demanding two-kilometre race.
The entire SMUS Rowing team exhibited tenacity and pride throughout the competition, honouring the school. Each athlete's hard work and commitment were evident.
Senior Girls Basketball
The SMUS Senior Girls Basketball team played a total of four league and tournament games this past week, winning three of them.
Tuesday night saw the PCS Pacers (BC’s current 1A No. 1-ranked team) visit SMUS for league action. The Blue Jags were excited to have point guard Avery Geddes back in the rotation, after her six-week layoff with a thumb injury. SMUS jumped out to an early lead thanks to some heavy defensive pressure and an up-tempo offence. Charlie Anderson led all scorers with 25 points, Geddes added 19 points and Alex Motherwell netted 15. Maddy Albert and Olivia Pickering controlled the boards with seven and six rebounds, respectively, as SMUS recorded a decisive 86-34 victory.
Then it was off to Vancouver for the annual Tessa Tournament. The Blue Jags’ pre-set tournament schedule featured all 3A Top 10 opponents. In the opening game against Duchess Park of Prince George, SMUS' full-court pressure and up-tempo attack were too much for the Condors. Every one of the Blue Jags factored into the scoring mix, with Anderson leading all scorers with 27 points, Geddes adding 19 and Motherwell 11. Liv Vincent pulled down nine boards to help secure a 74-28 win.
The second game featured a mid-season clash of the 3A No. 1-ranked Blue Jags and the No. 2-ranked Bobcats from Brookswood. Looking to avenge an early-season loss, the Bobcats made some sound defensive adjustments that caused SMUS to flounder offensively. After a very slow first half, the Blue Jags trailed 26-16. However, some solid three-point shooting by Geddes sparked a SMUS comeback – closing the Brookswood lead to four points with under a minute to play. Unfortunately, it would not be enough as the Bobcats came out on top 53-51. Geddes led the way with 21 points (seven three-pointers), Vincent added 12 points and six boards and Anderson had eight points and 13 rebounds.
The Blue Jags rebounded for their final game against WL Seaton of Vernon. Currently ranked 10th, the Seaton team was no match for the full-court pressure of the Blue Jags. All members of the SMUS team played major minutes as the Blue Jags rotated through their lineups and offensive sets. Albert led all scorers with 17 points, Geddes added 10 points and Vincent had eight. Cate Pontefract netted some sweet post move finishes and Joss Olcen continued to shine as a lockdown defender. SMUS went on to win 53-28.
Next up for the Blue Jags is their final league game against local 3A rival Reynolds this Tuesday, tipping off at 5:45 pm at SMUS. The winner will clinch the No. 1 seed heading into the Island Championship tournament at SMUS in two weeks time.
Senior Boys Basketball
The SMUS Senior Boys swept a trio of Lower Island AA league games this past week to run their league record to 7-1.
The Blue Jags got 19 points apiece from Zaki Pelyhe and Kian Colgate in a 95-30 home win over Parkland on Tuesday. Lincoln Faulkner added 15 points in the win.
On Wednesday, the Blue Jags ran out to a 91-67 road victory at Pacific Christian. Damon Bains and Pelyhe each scored 17 in that win while Taiga Parmar and Kian Colgate had 16 apiece and Faulkner 10.
The Blue Jags capped off their week with a 101-45 decision over visiting Glenlyon-Norfolk School on Thursday. Colgate led the way with a 32-point performance while Bains had 18, Parmar 15, Jack Driscoll 11, and Faulkner 10.
The SMUS Seniors wrap up Lower Island league play with two road games this week – at Parkland on Tuesday and at Lambrick Park on Wednesday. Both games tip off at 7:30 pm.
Junior Girls Basketball
The Junior Girls Basketball team split four games last week in league and tournament action.
In its last league game of the regular season, the Blue Jags battled hard before falling 38-34 to visiting Oak Bay on Wednesday. Elspeth Rodger led SMUS in scoring with nine points. The loss left the Blue Jags in second place in the league standings at 5-1 while Oak Bay finished first at 6-0.
The Junior Girls also took part in the Tessa Tournament this past weekend, winning two of three games. Rodger scored 15 points and was player of the game as SMUS beat host Walnut Grove 40-23 in its opener on Friday. Later that evening, the Juniors fell 44-38 to Riverside at Douglas College. Leila Mostachfi was the Blue Jags’ player of the game in that contest because of her work on the defensive end.
In its third and final game of the tournament on Saturday, SMUS beat New Westminster 49-31. Indigo Edgington was the Blue Jags’ player of the game with 14 points.
The Junior Girls will open the city championship tournament this Thursday at SMUS. The Blue Jags will host seventh-seeded Belmont, beginning at 5:45 pm in the Single Gym.
Junior Boys Basketball
After a hectic January which saw the Junior Boys Basketball team average four to five games a week, the Blue Jags played just once this past week. But that one contest was a thriller.
SMUS hosted the Oak Bay Junior Boys in a Wednesday showdown for first place in the Lower Island regular season, with each team entering the game with a 9-0 league record. The Blue Jags gave the provincially No. 2-ranked Bays all they could handle but a handful of mental errors in the final few seconds resulted in Oak Bay escaping with a 59-58 win.
The Blue Jags led 58-55 and had possession of the ball with 17 seconds left before turning it over on an ill-fated frontcourt inbounds play. SMUS then fouled an Oak Bay three-point shooter. He made the first two free throw attempts but missed the third. However, the Blue Jags couldn’t fully secure the rebound, resulting in a jump ball with just one second remaining. The possession arrow was in favour of the Bays, who managed to score a buzzer-beater on the ensuing baseline inbounds to win the game just as the clock expired.
Despite the heart-breaking loss, the unranked Blue Jags have demonstrated in recent weeks that they can play with the best teams in the province. SMUS guard Dani Pelyhe led the way with a game-high 27 points against Oak Bay while Will Zielinski came off the bench to provide excellent defence and score 16 points, including four threes.
The Blue Jags are hoping to eventually get another shot at Oak Bay this week with a strong performance in the city playoffs. But SMUS’ first order of business in the eight-team playoff tournament is a home game against Pacific Christian on Thursday at 7:15 pm in the Single Gym.
Thursday’s game will be a doubleheader with the Junior Girls’ playoff opener starting at 5:45 pm. Both Junior Blue Jags teams are encouraging students, family members and friends to come out to the Single Gym and cheer them on.
Grade 9 Boys Basketball
The Grade 9 Boys Basketball team played two games this past week as Lower Island league play concluded. The Blue Jags played quite well in both contests, although they struggled to secure enough defensive rebounds against their opponents, which both enjoyed a notable size advantage.
On Monday, SMUS was edged 66-65 in overtime by the Oak Bay Junior ‘B’ squad. Ming Tsang led the way for the Blue Jags in that game with 34 points, including seven three-pointers. Teammate Liam Pope-Lau contributed 14 points and 14 rebounds.
On Thursday, the Grade 9s fell 69-51 to St. Andrew’s Juniors. Bek Farish and Pope-Lau had 14 points each in the loss.
The SMUS Grade 9s open city playoffs this Wednesday at Royal Bay in a 4:15 pm tip off.