One of the pre-tournament favourites, the McMath Wildcats, who came into the tournament ranked No. 9 in the province, were ousted on the opening night of the TBI 68-60 by a hot shooting and more aggressive Spartans team. Claremont came out showing more intensity on defense, and a determination to get to the basket, outscoring Mcmath 14-2 to start the game. After tailing 42-29 at the break, the Wildcats found their legs after the half, opening the 3rd quarter with a 10-0 run, and had cut the lead to a single point heading into the final quarter. But Claremont regained their composure in the 4th quarter, with Chloe Scaber pouring in 9 of her team high 19 points in the final 10 minutes to help seal the victory. Spartans Head Coach Darren Reisig was pleased his team was able to finish out the win, after some recent letdowns in the second half of game, “For us it was really good because we had two very similar games versus Riverside and Oak Bay in the last 4 days that we were up and we gave it away, and I had feared that we were going to to do that again, but we had a little resolve, and learned from that an came out with the it tonight.” Marth Malakau was Mcmath’s leading scorer with 22 points.
The No.4 ranked Riverside Rapids played an up and down game in their tournament opener, before pulling away to beat the Argyle Pipers 69-55. Riverside jumped out to a shocking g 19-2 lead, but Argyle quickly responded to tie the game at 24, before eventually trailing by 10 (38-28) at the half. The Rapids opened up the 2nd half on an 8-0 run and their lead was never really threatened again. Sammy Shields was dialed in from long distance, connecting on five 3-pointers in the game, and finishing with a game high 23 points.
The Carson Graham Eagles also pulled off an upset on opening day, taking down the No. 7 ranked Sullivan Heights Stars 57-50. Gabriella Channon led the Eagles attack with 15 points, one of three Carson Graham players to reach double figures ( Tanis Metcalfe 11 points, Zekeya Baguinon 11 points). Emma Kramer had a game high 29 points, including 5 three-pointers, in a losing effort.
The No.1 ranked Walnut Grove Gators cruised to a 57-38 win a Britannia Bruins team. The Gators jumped out to a 19-6 lead after the 1st quarter, but. The scrappy Bruins played the tournament favourites tough. Walnut Grove Head Coach Darren Rowell was impressed with Britannia’s defensive pressure, “ Not really happy with how we played, it was more of a testament of how hard Britannia played, they were really physical with us, and we didn’t respond very well to it, lots of turnovers all game,we need to do a better job against their pressure.” Jessica Wisotzky led Walnut Grove with 21 points.
In a battle of two of the provinces most highly regarded teams, the No. 9 Semiamhoo Totems knocked off the Brookswood Bobcats 66-63. Grade 9 guard Deja Lee had 8 of her game-high 20 points in the decisive final quarter to help lead the upstart Totems to a victory over a veteran Bobcats team..
The Heritage Woods Kodiaks hung on to beat the South Kamloops Titans 66-53. The Kodiaks put on an impressive display from beyond the arc, 48 of their 66 points came from three-pointers. Rachel Tomlinson and Jenna Griffin hit 11 treys between them, and each finished with a matching game high of 18 points.
Lord Tweedsmuir survived for a 78-76 win over G. W. Graham. Shelvin Grewal led with 20 points, one of 4 Panthers to finish in double digits ( Harnett Sidhu 16p, India Atkins 14p, Alyza Atkins 13p). Sydney Fraess had a game high 35 points for the Panthers in the loss.
The No. 5 ranked Abbotsford Panthers won the opening game of the tournament 75-66 over the St. Thomas Aquinas Fighting Saints. Grade 10 guard Marin Lenz scored a game high 35 points (a point total that would not be topped the rest of the day).
Quarterfinals set for Friday
3:00 Carson Graham vs Semiamhoo
3:00 Claremont vs Walnut Grove
4:45 Riverside vs Lord Tweedsmuir
4:45 Heritage Woods vs Abbotsford
Written by: Jon Kennedy