The Chemainus Cougars posted a win and two losses to finish tied for fifth in the eight-team Island A senior boys basketball tournament at Nanaimo Christian School.
As usual, C.J. Loranger was the Cougars’ leader and earned a selection to the tournament’s second all-star team.
Loranger lit up the score sheet for 25 points and was Chemainus’ player of the game in a 76-50 loss to Maaqtusiis to open the tournament Thursday, Feb. 20.
The Cougars, ranked South 3 and the underdogs against North 2 Maaqtusiis, came out like gangbusters in the first quarter to take a 17-16 lead on the strength of four three-pointers by Loranger.
But Maaqtusiis took over the game in the second quarter with a convincing 29-12 scoring advantage and went on to the comfortable victory, as the Cougars only scored 21 points in the entire second half.
Mark Harris added 10 points to the Cougars’ effort, Brayden Wolff had nine, Austin Webb scored four and Mac Rennie contributed a bucket.
Chemainus hit the win column Friday, Feb. 21 by taking a 45-36 decision over Gold River.
Chemainus again had a dynamite first quarter and surged ahead 15-6. The teams finished the final three quarters on even terms, as the Cougars held on to that early nine-point advantage.
Harris took over the scoring load and was Chemainus’ player of the game with 15 points while Loranger added 11, Webb nine, Wolff seven, Shammie Mahon two and one for Rennie.
Host Nanaimo Christian defeated the Cougars 59-36 Saturday, Feb. 22 to take fourth spot ahead of them. Kyle Brown, who added two points and was strong defensively, received player of the game honours.
Loranger netted 10 points to set the pace for the Cougars again, with Webb adding seven. Rennie and Harris had five each, Mason Copeland contributed four and Wolff managed three.
This time, the first quarter wasn’t kind to the Cougars as they fell behind 16-7 and never recovered.
Glenlyon Norfolk of Victoria won the tournament. The second Island berth into the provincials was decided in a challenge game, with Maaqtusiis beating out Duncan Christian School.