The Carihi boys basketball team opened its appearance in the Vancouver Island AAA championships with a 48-46 comeback win over Parkland Secondary, but dropped its next two games and settled for fifth place in the eight-team tourney.
The Tyees entered the tourney as the No. 4 seed from the North Division. After rallying from a 33-23 halftime deficit to top host Parkland, the top seed from the South, they ran into another No. 1 seed in North rival Nanaimo District Secondary School in the semifinals and suffered a 59-37 loss.
In the consolation semifinals, Carihi faced Pacific Christian, with the winner moving on to the 3rd/4th place game and a chance to play for a provincial tournament berth. But, despite another late rally, Carihi saw its tourney run end with a 53-48 loss.
“Scoring was our Achilles’ heel,” Tyees coach Ray Wilson said. “Our defence played well; I thought we had probably our best defensive game of the year against Parkland
Nanaimo District Secondary School downed Wellington 56-49 in the championship final. Both teams advanced to the AAA BC Senior Boys championships, along with Mark Isfeld of Courtnay, which topped Pacific Christian 52-32 in the third-place final.
“In all the years I’ve been coaching here, I thought this was the first real shot we had” to advance to provincials, Wilson said. “We just couldn’t score. We weren’t moving without the ball and settled for outside shots, with predictable results.”
In the critical consolation semifinal against Pacific Christian, the teams were tied 33-all at halftime. But PCS opened the third quarter with three straight 3-point shots and added another score to suddenly jump in front by 11.
Carihi rallied, but could get no closer than three points.
“That was a tough hole to dig out of,” said Wilson. “That’s the way it goes, but it was definitely a successful season.”
The team’s highlights included a four-overtime win over Ballenas in a loser-out qualifier for the Island tournament, and the championship of the inaugural Timberline RCMP Invitational tourney last month.
Brodie Doherty led the Tyees with 18 points in the win over Parkland, with Rio Massee adding 10 and Josh Nelson nine.
Nelson led the way in the loss to Nanaimo, with 10 of his 16 points coming in the fourth quarter. Jaret Knowles added eight points.
Doherty again scored 18 points in the tournament finale against Pacific Christian, with Knowles chipping in 14 points and Dace Harle adding seven. Nelson sat out the contest in a one-game suspension.