Dover Bay Dolphins player Jake Seaman defends against Nanaimo District Islanders opponent Qwammi Robinson during Thursday’s senior AAAA boys’ basketball game at the Dover Bay Secondary School gym. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)

NDSS edges Dover in first-place showdown

Nanaimo District Islanders beat Dover Bay Dolphins 99-95 in senior boys’ basketball action

The Nanaimo District Islanders outscored the Dover Bay Dolphins in a thrilling game that could turn out to be a playoff preview.

NDSS defeated Dover 99-95 on Thursday at Dover Bay Secondary School gym in the final game of the senior AAAA boys’ regular season.

The visitors were up 49-38 at half, but the home team had a hot hand in the second half and the game was tied 95-95 in the last minute before the Isles prevailed.

“I think we brought out good energy in the first half; second half, I think we were a little bit slow but we picked it up. They put up a great fight,” said NDSS player Trent Johnson. “Coaches told us to stay steady, have a calm head, don’t freak out and that’s what we did. We managed to keep the ball safe.”

Johnson led all scorers with 46 points. NDSS also got 28 points from Qwammi Robinson and 14 from Seth Tommasson.

Dover Bay’s Jake Seaman scored 32 points, including eight second-half three-pointers, and Brad Lansdell scored 29. Anoop Bassi added 14.

The game was worth two victories in the standings to make up for a snowed-out game earlier this year. On the strength of the double win, the Islanders take first place in the North Island league heading into playoffs next week.

Johnson said the tough game will serve his team well for post-season preparation, giving the Islanders an idea of the things they need to work on.

“I think we’re going to go very far in the playoffs; I have no doubt in my mind,” he said. “It’s all about preparation going into it.”

GAME ON … North Island championships will be held at Dover Bay gym Feb. 13-14, with NDSS facing the Cowichan Thunderbirds in one semifinal and Dover matching up against the G.P. Vanier Towhees in the other. The top three teams will advance to Islands the following weekend at NDSS.

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