Hoops for the holidays, B.C.’s best Bays host Washington State teams at UVic

Vikes Alumni Classic pits B.C.’s top-ranked teams against trio of schools from Washington

Two of the top-ranked men’s teams in B.C., Oak Bay and Brentwood College, will meet against a trio of Washington state teams at the UVic Men’s Basketball Alumni High School Classic, Dec. 28 to 30.

Visiting are Brentwood College, the top-ranked 2A team, Vancouver College, the No. 10-ranked 4A team and three Washington state schools, North Kitsap, Vashon Island and Seattle Academy.

The Vikes Alumni High School Classic is a tournament designed to give the Island’s best a chance to face top schools of the mainland and Washington state. Funds generated at the tournament will go into a scholarship program for Island-based basketball players on the Vikes.

It’s still early but the Bays are a leading contender in the B.C. boys basketball 4A division, ranked No. 1 by Varsityletters.ca after beating St. Thomas More 86-68 in the final of the Tsumura Basketball Invitational in Langley on Dec. 9.

The Bays then made it two-straight tournament wins, having walked through their own Gary Taylor Classic in the new Oak Bay High gymnasium this past weekend. On Thursday the Bays knocked off Cowichan 106-54, then defeated St. Thomas More 76-31 on Friday and Sir Winston Churchill (Calgary) 83-50 in the final on Saturday.

With all respect to the Gary Taylor Classic teams but with scores like that, the Bays are ready for some higher competition. It’s looking like one of those special years for the boys in forest green.

“This is an absolute fantastic opportunity, Brentwood College looks polished, Van College is polished, we’ll see the top high school athletes in B.C. compete against the Washington state teams,” said Oak Bay coach Chris Franklin.

Brentwood won the Heritage tourney earlier this season out of an elite group of teams. Oak Bay didn’t enter that tourney, and the two won’t play each other in the UVic Alumni tourney, but could meet in a tournament in the new year.

At the heart of the Bays is a pair of outstanding guards, surrounded by an exceptionally tall group of forwards. At six-foot-three, Grade 12 guard Caelan Scott is the provincial team starting point guard and a sought after talent for university next year. However, the Oak Bay team features more than just one threat.

Grade 11 guard Diego Maffia can also run the floor. Six-foot-seven Riley Cronk is a force, so is six-foot-five Cam Henderson. Those are just two of the four players that are six-foot-five and above.

Tickets to the Vikes Alumni High School Classic are $5 for a day pass at the door (free to students 18-and-under).

Vikes Alumni Schedule:

Thursday, Dec. 28

1 p.m. Vancouver College vs. Vashon Island

2:45 p.m. Brentwood College vs. North Kitsap

4:30 p.m. Oak Bay vs. Seattle Academy

Friday, Dec. 29

1 p.m. Seattle Academy vs. Brentwood

2:45 p.m. North Kitsap vs. Vancouver College

4:30 p.m. Vashon Island vs. Oak Bay

Saturday, Dec. 30

9 a.m. Van College vs. Seattle Academy

10:45 a.m. Brentwood vs. Vashon Island

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