EMCS sr boys basketball place 5th in Vancouver Island finals

EMCS sr boys basketball place 5th in Vancouver Island finals

The EMCS team at the playoffs in Nanaimo.

The EMCS team at the playoffs in Nanaimo.

Games overview: Top performances

Game one: EMCS vs Nanaimo, 64-55 (L)

The EMCS senior boy’s basketball team lost against the Nanaimo District Secondary School ( NDSS ) 64-55 in a hard fought game. EMCS’s star player Quinn Yates was battling the flu, but played well against another top-rated Vancouver Island product, #14, 6’5 Tyus  Barfoot, who received Player of the Game designation for this game. Sean MacKenzie of EMCS also played a strong game offensively, and the game was only four points apart until late in the fourth quarter. EMCS showed determination and received excellent defensive play from Brandon Wilson who was rebounding and blocking shots for most of the game.

Game two: EMCS vs Stellys, 50-47 (W)

Both teams played well in this fast paced game. But Quinn Yates and Sean Mackenzie of EMCS proved to be too much for Stellys. Their great shooting, rebounding and playing like their lives were depending on it, which with a double knock out tournament with one loss going into this game 2 was true.EMCS held on to take the win. EMCS’s Lucus Blatchford, Jonah Philip and Fraser Campbell added some great 3-point shooting. Quinn Yates of EMCS won Player of the Game designation. Twins Austin and Brandon Wilson made a nice play under the rim for EMCS and were rewarded with 2 points.

Game 3: Reynolds vs EMCS 78-58 (L)

Reynolds and EMCS have played well against each other this season with a 2-2 record. But Reynolds came out hard and dominated early in the first quarter, with a 25-8 lead after 10 minutes. EMCS fought back and closed the gap through out the next two quarters but Reynolds took the win 77-58 after 40 minutes. Quinn Yates again played amazing basketball, but EMCS Grade 11 player Abe Lemontagne was playing his best basketball of the season, scoring and playing well against Reynolds high scoring offence. Sean Mackenzie, who had injured his leg in the second game,  forced the play, and played with the intensity he was known for all season. Honorable mentions for EMCS in game three for their fourth quarter efforts were Jon Zen and Taylor Sulzen for their strong defensive resolve.

Submitted by Glenn Dickie

Commentary: Fifth on the Island, first in our hearts

Britt SantowskiSooke News Mirror

EMCS lost. Sort of.

Technically, if you look only at the scoreboard, the EMCS sr. boy’s basketball team did not make it to the top three in the Island Championships. The top three teams — Mark Isfeld (first), Wellington (second), and Nanaimo (third) — will go on to play in the BC Championships. EMCS played three games. They lost two games, and so, technically, they lost.

Still, they come home as champions.

Not because they came in first place in the regular season at the city level, even though they did. Not because they came in second in the City championships, even though they did. Not because they were the first EMCS team to ever achieve this level, even though they did.

No. Those things are all great and wonderful. But, contrary to Canada’s obsession with the Own-the-Podium medal count, these young men came home champions because they supported each other, through thick and thin, through the season, through the playoffs.

It is a special treat seeing a group as supportive of each other as these players.

In reflecting what he likes best about the game, Abe Lamontagne (#3) spoke to the unity of the team:  “My teammates, they’re great this year and they always have great energy.”

Jonah Philip (#45) also spoke to the strength of the team. “Reaching such a peak for basketball at EMCS feels great! All the hard work we put in pays off and it’s really fun.” Jonah noted that for him, the greatest joy is in playing for a home crowd. “My best moment this year has to be just the home games when we have a good crowd and there is a great energy! Also when I assisted Abes crazy dunk — we’re a dynamic duo!”

To put that last comment into perspective, Abe Lamontagne’s favourite activity is “probably my first dunk on another player cause it always gets the crowd going and it gets my team fired up.” And, apparently, Jonah as well.

Taylor Sulzen (#22) captured the essence of many of the posts on the team’s Facebook page. “Overall my favourite part is the bonding with others that comes with the sport, being with 15 other guys up to seven days a week helps develop something strong. Most people call it a team; I call it a family.”

Given that their page is a private page, the gentle readers of this article are not privy to their comments. But rest assured that their posts reflect forward momentum, thoughtful reflection, and tremendous team support.

These young men demonstrate a type of leadership that is rare these days. It’s not the top-down style of leadership that bellows out, “Hey, listen to me, I’ve got the answer here.”

Rather, it’s a quieter, more subtle form. It’s leadership through support, through nurturing the strengths of all the players on the team, for the benefit of the whole.

It’s visible on the court. You see it when a player shoots a penalty shot and misses. He gets the genuine support of his team, the type that persistently looks forward at potential instead of backwards at regret. You see it when a referee makes a bad call (or a missed call), and the team moves forward with ease and momentum. You see it on the bench, as they cheer on their teammates on the court.

You also see it in how they  respond to their head coach, Trevor Bligh.

Taylor Sulzen sums it up nicely. “Coach Bligh’s intentions were that we would not only learn to cherish our game time, but to be grateful for everything in life, as small as a hug or as big as a family. He continues to impress me in finding individual ways of teaching us lessons that we will hold on to for the rest of our lives, and I speak for the team when I say that he has given us the ride of our lives and we could never repay him for it. We will never forget the experiences we shared with our hardworking and loving family.”

The leadership that these young men hold is one that offers growth to those around them, that works hard to benefit the team. It is leading from within, leading from behind.

It is the quiet kind of leadership that produces champions. Like those that we have in our midst: our EMCS senior boys’ basketball team, the Wolverines.

And that excellent modeling of leadership is what gave them their big win this year.

Well played, team.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rachna Singh, MLA for Surrey-Green Timbers, is the Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives. (Photo courtesy of flickr.com/photos/bcgovphotos)
A micro brewery is being eyed for Jordan River. However, the site where the brewery is proposed still needs to go through the rezoning process. (Black Press Media file)
Micro brewery proposed for Jordan River

Jordan River Brewing Company envisions to build wholesale, sit-in brewery along Highway 14

Traffic waits at the intersection of Highway 17 and Beacon Avenue. A study found failing levels of service at the intersection of Highway 17 and Sidney’s Beacon Avenue for multiple movements during morning peak traffic and for all left-moving traffic during afternoon peak traffic. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Province supports potential interim improvements to Sidney intersection

Province says interchange is the long-term plan for intersection of Beacon Avenue and Highway 17

Oak Bay local Lachlan Kratz (red, middle) has signed with pro rugby team NOLO Gold in Louisiana. (Contributed photo)
Oak Bay local signs with pro rugby team

Lachlan Kratz at 21 is now NOLO Gold’s youngest member

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Russ Ball (left) and some of the team show off the specimen after they were able to remove it Friday. Photo supplied
Courtenay fossil hunter finds ancient turtle on local river

The specimen will now make its home at the Royal BC Museum

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

The Attorney General’s Ministry says certain disputes may now be resolved through either a tribunal or the court system, pending its appeal of a B.C. Supreme Court decision that reduced the tribunal’s jurisdiction. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Court of Appeal grants partial stay in ruling on B.C. auto injuries

B.C. trial lawyers challenged legislation brought in to cap minor injury awards and move smaller court disputes to the Civil Resolution Tribunal

A vial of some of the first 500,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada secured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Canada’s 2nd blood clot confirmed in Alberta after AstraZeneca vaccine

The male patient, who is in his 60s, is said to be recovering

Most Read