Chemainus Secondary School Cougars captured third place among the four teams in the South Island senior A boys basketball championships at Duncan Christian School and advanced to the Island playoffs.
Glenlyon Norfolk of Victoria won the tournament, host DCS placed second and Brookes Westshore of Langford was fourth behind Chemainus.
The Cougars lost 80-42 to DCS in the first game and then defeated Brookes Westshore 64-57.
Chemainus fell way behind DCS in the first quarter 23-5 when the team just couldn’t get anything going offensively. Improved play in the second quarter when they were only outscored 17-14 put the Cougars back on track, but it was way too little, way too late to cut into the deficit.
C.J. Loranger did most of the scoring for Chemainus with 28 points. He made seven three-pointers during the game with some phenomenal shooting.
Mark Harris added five points while Brayden Wolff and Mac Rennie had four apiece.
Against Brookes, Loranger led the way again with another 32 points. Wolff got on a roll for 13.
The Cougars midget boys won their first tournament game by the slimmest of margins over Duncan Christian School 34-33. It was an intense come-from-behind victory, noted Chemainus coach Graeme Arkell.
The team stormed back from a 23-14 halftime deficit to go on a 10-point run to end the third quarter and a six-point run to end the fourth quarter.
The Cougars’ main point producer, Chris O’Dell, racked up 16 points. The turning point of the game came in the third quarter when he twisted his ankle on a drive to the hoop.
“It seemed that our chance to pull out a narrow victory would disappear as Chris would have to be benched for a while,” Arkell explained. “Recognizing this, I called a timeout and fortunately after the referee blew his whistle to resume play Chris said he felt good to go. Boy, was he ever, he went on to accumulate another 10 points before the end of the game.”
Payton Morey earned a promotion to the starting five due to his steady improvements in defending and dribbling. In addition to scoring four points, he defended so well he held his check off the scoresheet entirely.
Bradley MacRae exhibited many positives to his game, including his accurate layups for six points, his hustle on offense and defence to gain strong positioning, and finishing give-and-go plays with O’Dell.
But he got into foul trouble with his fourth early in the third quarter.
“To prevent him from fouling out, I substituted him off,” Arkell indicated. “This diminished the potency of our offence in the post position. Bradley returned to the game with two minutes remaining in the match and scored a clutch basket which gave us a one-point victory.”
The boys played a very complete game aside from foul trouble and a few incidences where they were caught setting moving screens and carrying the ball. The passing and shooting were accurate, there was quick ball movement on offence, and good hustle to chase down rebounds.
Bench players led a spirited ‘defence’ chant throughout the game. The Cougars’ family and friends cheering them on included: parents, athletic director Kim Magnan and the senior boys basketball team.