The Oak Bay Bays only took one win, but they gained a lot just by being in the 2019 UVic Vikes men’s basketball alumni senior boys high school tournament.
Two of the pre-tournament favourites, Fredericton of New Brunswick and Centennial of Coquitlam met in the final, with Fredericton pulling out a 103-100 win at UVic’s Centre for Athletics, Recreation and Special Abilities.
Oak Bay was up seven points 75-68 with three minutes left at noon on Monday when GP Vanier roared back to make it 77-75. After surrendering most of the lead, the Bays got lucky as Vanier’s Peter Greaves – who led the Towhees with 31 points – drove the floor and could easily have tied the game himself. Instead, Greaves’ last-second pass surprised a teammate and it went out of bounds off Vanier with about seven seconds left.
Lucas Maffia had 21 for the Bays with and Chris Horwood had 22.
Sharpshooting Grade 9 Griffin Arnatt continued to impress with six of his eight points at the free throw line.
“He should probably shoot more,” Maffia said. “That’s the thing with the young guys on our team. They’re good. If they get a look, they should shoot more. It’s confidence that comes from playing.”
During the game, Bays coach Chris Franklin could be heard stressing the strategy of the Bays’ offensive zone ‘cuts.’
The Bays are improving every time they play, but it was a particularly valuable opportunity to play teams such as the Vernon Panthers, which edged Oak Bay 78-66 on Saturday, Franklin said. The Belmont Bulldogs defeated the Bays on Sunday, 73-66.
“This is one of the best high school tournaments in Canada, we are fortunate to have [Ian] Hyde-Lay and Phil [Ohl] put this on,” Franklin added. “[The final] has Centennial vs. Fredericton, that’s a final with two big teams that you don’t see at many [high school] tournaments in Canada.
“Outside of the provincials at the Langley Event Centre, there are no tournaments in a facility like UVic’s CARSA,” Franklin said.
Claremont opened with a 81-50 win over Vanier but lost 73-63 to Centennial in the semifinal. Claremont fell 87-79 to Vancouver College in the bronze-medal game.