Grade 12 students Ethan Moore and Jaime Palamos are two of three returning players to lead the Bays senior boys basketball team in the 2020 season. Palamos is injured and will miss the fourth annual UVic Senior Boys Basketball Invitational, Dec. 28 to 30 at CARSA. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Bays basketball warming up with holiday tournaments

UVic Invitational high school tourney runs Dec. 28 to 29

Despite two tournaments over the holiday break there will still be plenty of time to rest for members of the Oak Bay boys senior basketball team.

Which is just as well with multiple players heading into the break with a cold, and starting point guard Jaime Palamos still waiting to play his first game since breaking his fibula during a Bays high school soccer game earlier this school year.

The Bays opened their Gary Taylor Classic senior and junior boys basketball tournament with a 118-49 shellacking of Cowichan High on Thursday. It put them into Friday’s semifinal against Dover Bay. Visitors to the tournament included Vancouver College (who lost to Dover Bay 80-75 in round one), St. Thomas More (who dropped their opener to Lambrick Park in overtime 59-54) and St. Peter the Apostle (who defeated Belmont 89-81 in the opener). (Watch online for updates.)

READ ALSO: Photo gallery Oak Bay Bays at 2017 Gary Taylor Classic

Coming off the departure of the Bays’ big three from last year, Jordane Burke, Ewan McKenzie, and Diego Maffia, the team returns just three players including Grade 12 starters Palamos and Ethan Moore.

“This year is about the transition to a younger team,” Moore said. “We have two Grade 9s who play regularly and without those [graduated] guys, we have to get used to playing together.”

Those Grade 9 players? They are Griffin Arnatt and Matthew Magnan and Moore said they are on the big team for a reason, ready to contribute. The goal is to figure it out by the time city playoffs start in February, Moore added.

Palamos is aiming to be back when Lower Island high school league starts again on Jan. 14. That day the Bays host the Lambrick Park Lions. The international from Valencia, Spain, convinced his family to ship him here after Oak Bay’s rugby team visited his town two years ago.

READ MORE: Oak Bay narrowly misses bronze in third annual Vikes Alumni Invitational basketball tourney

“The rugby team explained the league and the culture here and I wanted to come,” Palamos said. “Now I’m hoping to earn a scholarship and stay.”

Following the Gary Taylor that ends on Dec. 21, the Bays will take a break until Dec. 28, which is the opening of the University of Victoria Vikes Alumni Senior Boys Basketball Invitational, at UVic’s CARSA Performance Gym.

“The holiday tournaments are great to help us develop as a team and get used to each other and our [systems],” Moore said.

Teams from across the province and one from New Brunswick will make up the 10-team field at UVic. Oak Bay will join Belmont Bulldogs, Claremont Spartans, Dover Bay and GP Vanier Towhees from the Island. Visiting are B.C.’s top-ranked AAAA team Centennial (per Varsity Letters), Vernon (ranked third in B.C. among AAA), Ross Sheppard (Edmonton), Fredericton High School (N.B.) and a return by the Vancouver College Fighting Irish (the Irish left a few starters at home for the Gary Taylor tournament, and are predicted to be stronger at UVic).

To start the year, local basketball website Sport Victoria has Claremont ranked at No. 1 among AAAA Island schools. Much of that has to do with future UVic Vikes forward Ethan Boag, who is 6-foot-8.

“Claremont, Vanier, Belmont, they’re all good,” Moore said.

Tickets to the UVic tourney are $25 for an adult tournament pass and $12 for a day pass. That’s $12 for a student tournament pass and $5 per day. Children under six are free.

UVic Vikes Alumni High School Invitational Schedule

Saturday, Dec. 28

9:00 a.m. Game 1 Belmont vs Ross Sheppard

10:45 a.m. Game 2 Oak Bay vs Vernon

12:30 p.m. Game 3 Claremont vs GP Vanier

2:15 p.m. Game 4 Vancouver College vs Dover Bay

4:00 p.m. Game 5 Winner Game 1 vs Centennial

5:45 p.m UVIC Vikes vs Grant MacEwan

7:45 p.m Game 6 Winner Game 2 vs Fredericton

10:45 a.m. Game 2 Oak Bay vs Vernon

12:30 p.m. Game 3 Claremont vs GP Vanier

2:15 p.m. Game 4 Vancouver College vs Dover Bay

4:00 p.m. Game 5 Winner Game 1 vs Centennial

5:45 p.m UVIC Vikes vs Grant MacEwan

7:45 p.m Game 6 Winner Game 2 vs Fredericton

Sunday, Dec. 29

10:00 a.m. Game 7 Loser Game 3 vs Loser Game 4

11:45 a.m. Game 8 Loser Game 2 vs Loser Game 5

1:30 p.m. Game 9 Loser Game 1 vs Loser Game 6

3:15 p.m. Game 10 (semifinal) Winner Game 3 vs Winner Game 5

5:00 p.m. UVIC Vikes vs Grant MacEwan

7:00 p.m Game 11 Winner Game 4 vs Winner Game 6

Monday, Dec. 30

9:00 a.m. Game 12 Winner Game 7 vs Loser Game 9

10:45 a.m. Game 13 Winner Game 8 vs Loser Game 7

12:30 p.m. Game 14 Winner Game 9 vs Loser Game 8

2:15 p.m. Game 15 (3rd/4th) Loser Game 10 vs Loser Game 11

4:00 p.m Game 16 (1st/2nd) Winner Game 10 vs Winner Game 11

5:30 p.m. Tournament Presentations

reporter@oakbaynews.com


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