Eagles boys wing way past Scots for gold

The Strathcona Christian Academy Eagles boys beat ABJ in the final of their own tournament. Photo Supplied

Share Adjust Comment Print

They can officially be referred to as the golden Eagles.

The Strathcona Christian Academy Eagles senior boys and girls basketball teams both emerged on top at their own SCA Invitational Senior Varsity Basketball Tournament earlier this month, as the small school continues to excel in court sports.

The Eagles senior boys certainly didn’t have an easy go of it on their run to gold.

Their first really big test was a 106-103 victory over H.J. Cody.

“This was the best game we had played up until that point,” said Eagles boys head coach Chris Aubrey. “We had struggled shooting the ball from the three-point line up until this night. H.J. Cody was such a tough team. They had a post player who had at least 20 points and 20 rebounds — very tough to defend. It was just back and forth all night. We had a good lead going into the forth, but they just kept competing and luckily we pulled out the win.”

The Eagles had an even closer contest in the gold medal game against the rival Archbishop Jordan Scots, managing a narrow 79-78 win.

“It was a battle all night long,” Aubrey said. “We had a really tough, physical game the night before against H.J. Cody and really struggled to find a flow in the game. ABJ did a really great job offensive rebounding against us.”

The leading scorers for SCA were Colton Halbersma with 23 and Reece Anton with 18. The top point producer for ABJ was Jacques Bonsant with 24.

Anton was named the tournament MVP.

“The kid can just score,” Aubrey said. “He had it going from pretty much everywhere all weekend long. He shot the ball well from three. He got to the hoop whenever he wanted. The problem defenders have is his speed. His first step is so fast it’s hard for defenders to keep in front of him. He averaged well over 20 points a game all weekend long — scoring 33 against H.J. Cody.

Halbersma was also honoured with tournament all-star status.

“Colton is a kid people look at and think he has to be older than he is,” Aubrey commented. “He is really tough and athletic. He was coming off an injury, so we weren’t sure if he would be able to play, but with his determination and competitive drive, he was able to really rise to the occasion. He scored 31 points on Friday night and was a big reason why we were able to beat H.J. Cody.”

The Eagles are the lone Sherwood squad playing in the Metro League top Division 1 this season after knocking the Bev Facey Falcons down a peg with a 96-57 win in the Metro Ability Round.

“It was a huge game for us,” Aubrey said. “Facey came out strong. We struggled to hit a shot and they seemed to just play well. However, after our early struggles we found some rhythm and were able to get the win in the end. The game was really important to us because we believe we are looked at as the underdog and want the challenge of taking on the big schools in Division 1.”

The SCA senior girls won gold at their recnet tournament, defeating J.H. Picard in the gold medal game.Photo Supplied

Meanwhile, the SCA Eagles girls also had golden grins after their own tournament, defeating J.H. Picard 53-50 in the final.

“It definitely came at the right time for us,” said SCA girls head coach Kirsten Burns. “We seemed to be coasting the whole tournament and J.H. Picard was the wake-up call we needed. We had a strong performance in the second half and it gave us the opportunity to pull ahead and walk away with the win. It highlighted a lot of the strengths we had and made us as a coaching staff excited for the season.

Leading the way in the final for SCA were Mikah Reed with 19 points, Lili Verhagen with 12 and Meagan Bylsma with 10.

“Mikah Reed was a one of five tournament all-stars,” Burns said. “As a Grade 10, she continually impresses us with her all around game. She has the drive and intensity that you don’t see a lot of anymore. She has the potential to score at will and we saw glimpses of that all tournament.

“Maegan Bylsma was the tournament MVP. As our captain, she has really stepped into a leadership role. She leads the team by example in how hard she works on offence and defence and also seems to find the offensive output that we need at crucial times. She was playing on a sprained ankle all game in the final but found a way to get it done.”

The SCA tournament was blessed with a bevy of committed sponsours for the event, including Nitza’s Pizza on Wye, SportBall, Wild Wings, Lehmann Plumbing, Papa John’s Pizza, Co-op, Leading Edge Physiotherapy-Capilano Rehab Centre and Sportfactor.