A second-half turnaround lifted the Oak Bay Bays to the Vancouver Island basketball championship.
The Bays turned a nine-point halftime deficit against the Claremont Spartans into a nine-point lead by the end of the third quarter, then held on to win 74-69 to claim the senior AAAA boys’ Island championship on Saturday night at Nanaimo District Secondary School.
Tournament MVP Lucas Maffia said coach Chris Franklin had the right message for players at halftime.
“Our top players were really down and he hyped us up,” Maffia said. “We came on really hard third quarter.”
Guard Jaime Molins said the Bays brought a lot of energy into the second half, and as they started hitting shots, the energy build even more. As Oak Bay protected its lead, the focus turned to defence and rebounding against the bigger Spartans, and Molins said his team just kept running and playing hard until the final buzzer.
“It feels great…” he said. “Very happy for the team; we’ll see at provincials how we can do.”
Maffia scored a game-high 28 points, Molins added 21 and Chris Horwood scored 11 for the Bays. For the Spartans, Ben Manns had 24 points and Ethan Boag scored 21.
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Congratulations to the Oak Bay Bays, Vancouver Island senior AAAA basketball champions. Oak Bay defeated the Claremont Spartans 74-69 tonight at NDSS… pic.twitter.com/YV8qXm9S4R
— Greg Sakaki (@BulletinSports) February 23, 2020
The Island’s second representative at provincials is undetermined as the third-place NDSS Islanders get a challenge game at Claremont this coming Tuesday, Feb. 25. NDSS defeated the Belmont Bulldogs in the third-place game, 83-75. Trent Johnson and Qwammi Robinson both scored 29 points for the Islanders in that one.
In addition to Maffia’s MVP award, Oak Bay’s Ethan Moore was chosen the tournament’s Top Defensive Player. First-team all-stars were Qwammi Robinson from NDSS, Molins of Oak Bay, Nik Babaeff and Boag of Claremont and Riley Merryweather from Belmont. Second-team all-stars included Trent Johnson of NDSS, Horwood and Moore of Oak Bay, Manns from Claremont and Markus Modrovic from Belmont.
Elsewhere on the Island, St. Michaels University School defeated John Barsby 65-55 in the senior AAA boys’ championship game Saturday in Ladysmith; Brentwood won the senior AA boys’ Island title in their home gym, edging Lambrick Park 75-73; and Glenlyon Norfolk won the senior A boys’ Island championship with a 97-66 victory over Duncan Christian at Nanaimo Christian School. For more on the Vancouver Island basketball championships, visit www.sportvictoria.com.