The Oak Bay Bays were crowned kings of the court at the 2022 Tsumura Basketball Invitational, capping a dominant four days with a hard-fought win at Langley Events Centre on Saturday (Dec. 10) night.
Oak Bay faced the Kelowna Owls in the final game of the 32-team, 64-game tournament.
On Friday (Dec. 9), Spectrum Thunder won the bracket championship while Langley Christian Lightning took home the regional championship. The following day, Oak Bay finished a four-day run which saw them win by an average margin of almost 29 points, by defeating the Owls (73-47).
Oak Bay edged Holy Cross (74-42) in the opener, then went on to snag victories against Sir Winston Churchill (99-56) and Vancouver College (85-70) in the quarter-final and semi-final rounds. In their semi-final, the Bays trailed by two points with just a quarter left to play, before coming back to outscore the opponent 29-12 over the final 10 minutes of the game.
Saturday night’s final saw an in-form Kelowna team score the first basket. But it wasn’t long before the Bays responded, sinking a three-pointer, and never looked back – cruising through the rest of the game with a lead as large as 22 points in the third quarter.
Bays coach Chris Franklin credited his team with doing an effective job of limiting the Owls’ space on the court with a great defensive effort led by Matthew Magnan and Griffin Arnatt, who was selected most valuable player.
“Even though Griff didn’t have a great scoring game today, he helped us with the press break. And Matthew took it to the rim hard. I thought we could go sideways against a good pressing team like Kelowna, and they just wouldn’t let us,” Franklin said in a news release.
The Bays’ Toren Franklin was named player of the game while Owen Lewis led the team in scoring with 21 points. Oak Bay went into the tournament ranked sixth in the most recent polls.
“I knew we had a strong team coming in. (It) was just a matter of making them a team. They are really buying into the idea of becoming a team, gathering together, helping each other up and being positive on the bench. It is nice to see that growth so early and that is a testament to the kids,” Franklin said.
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