Courtenay’s Vanier crowned Island AAA basketball champs

Vanier and Isfeld advance to B.C. championships

For the first time in its 50-year history, the GP Vanier senior boys basketball team won the Island championship.

Saturday in Nanaimo, the Towhees defeated the Reynolds Roadrunners of Victoria 62-48 to win the triple-A tournament, and claim the top Island seed heading into the B.C. championships March 6-9 in Langley.

The final was relatively close throughout, but Towhees coach Larry Street said Reynolds had trouble scoring on Vanier’s tough defensive zones.

“This particular group of Grade 11s actually have won the Islands three years in a row, and their will proved why to everyone watching,” Street said.

Jakob Tortorelli — who was named tournament MVP and top defensive player — led the Towhees with 25 points and five steals. First-team all-star selection Peter Greaves added 18 points and 12 rebounds. Cam Bell scored five points, four assists, seven rebounds and “heady play,” Street said.

Vanier beat Vic High 85-49 in their opener, and Carihi 72-52 in the semis. Towhees guard Macyn Leopkey-Johnson was named to the second all-star team.

The previous weekend, Vanier had beaten the host Isfeld Ice in the final of the North Island Championships.

“Being basically a Grade 11 team, we needed to grow immensely for about three-quarters of the season, steadily improving,” Street said. “Winning the North Island was the start of something big, and now we are heading into peak performance territory. Even this week of practice we will get better.

“Our goal all year was to be final four (in B.C.),” Street added. “If that happens, anything can happen. Hopefully we will get a good seeding and a reasonable first-round matchup.”

After losing 61-56 to Reynolds in the semis, Isfeld beat the host John Barsby to finish third at Islands — and to claim the third Island berth to provincials. By so doing, the Ice qualified for its sixth straight provincial appearance.

In the opening round, Isfeld defeated an overmatched Royal Bay 74-43. After the loss to Reynolds, the Ice beat Esquimalt 87-74 in a do-or-die meeting. In the third-place game, they defeated the Barsby Bulldogs 76-49. Isfeld coach Tom Elwood said Jacob Volkers played his finest game of the season, holding Barsby’s leading scorer Ethan Hart to nine points while “shredding the Bulldogs for 14 on the way to player-of-the-game honours.”

Thaskani and Temwa Mtawali of Isfeld earned first-team all-Island honours. Aiden McDonald was selected to the second team.


Just Posted

Funtastic Alberni kicks back to the 1980s for Canada Day concerts

The nights are reserved for mullets, big hair and denim vests

Tofino pushing for new hospital

Island Health cautions that process can take over seven years

EDITORIAL: Oh, the places they’ll go

Exciting opportunities await the graduating class of 2019

Retiring Vancouver Island University president reflects on more of a decade of leadership

Ralph Nilson has been president of VIU since the change from Malaspina University College in 2007.

Are you ready for a safe adventure

Ambassadors breaching outdoor safety around Vancouver Island

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

No business case for Trans Mountain expansion, says former environment minister

Cabinet is expected to announce its decision on the expansion of the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline by Tuesday

Most Read