Oak Bay locks up Island hoops title

Senior boys head to provincials as No. 1 seed

Oak Bay’s senior boys proved too much for the rest of the field at the Island basketball championships.

The Bays stopped Dover Bay 98-68 in the final to claim the senior boys Island crown.

“It was an eight, 10-point game for most of the first half but in the second half we were able to extend our lead,” said Oak Bay coach Chris Franklin.

He said with Dover Bay needing to face Cowichan in a challenge game to secure the Island’s second spot at the provincial championships, “they kind of pulled the troops and saved themselves for that challenge game against Cowichan.”

Oak Bay earlier knocked off Cowichan 82-62 in the semifinal.

“There was a lot of competition, a lot of physical play in the semifinal,” said Franklin, who pointed to rebounding as the key to Oak Bay’s success.

“We didn’t allow them to get to the offensive glass. Once that happened, and they weren’t able to get their second chances, we were pretty solid.”

Oak Bay opened the tournament with a 100-32 win over Alberni.

Atlas St. Paul-Butler was named tournament MVP, while Matt Gray and Myka Tang were selected for the first-team all-stars and Liam Finnigan earned the nod for the second team.

The Bays now move on to the provincial championships, where they will be the No. 1 seed at the March 11-14 tournament at the Langley Events Centre.

“It’s going to be tough, but you’re not expecting any easy games at B.C.’s,” said Franklin. “You’ve got to beat good teams to get there, you’ve got to beat solid teams to move on. You just have to hope for good health and to play as best you can.”

He said there’s no clear favourite at the 16-team provincial championships, pointing to defending champion Winston Churchill, former No. 1 ranked Terry Fox, along with Yale and Kelowna Secondary.

“Any number of teams can come out on top in this thing,” said Franklin. “It’s just a matter of finding good rhythm, good health and playing your best ball when you need to.”

Oak Bay opens the provincials March 11 against Mt. Baker.