Make it a double.
The Claremont Spartans added an Island triple A senior boy’s basketball title to their South Island championship on Saturday, defeating Oak Bay 61-52 at Mount Douglas Secondary.
It’s Claremont’s second Island crown after claiming the honour in 2002, a year in which it also finished second at provincials.
The Spartans advance to the B.C. championship once again beginning March 12 in Langley.
The Oak Bay Bays will have to play a challenge game on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at home against the Belmont Bulldogs, who finished third.
“It feels good, a first-year coach coming to an Island championships, but credit to Oak Bay, they played hard,” said Spartans coach Davey Sundher. “My guys played hard, busting their hump every day in the gym.”
Jaamel Slack came alive in a second-quarter stint, popping a pair of threes and adding a deuce during a 16-0 run that gave Claremont a 35-21 advantage at halftime.
“That kind of iced the game there,” said Sundher.
The Spartans had stormed out to a 12-5 lead, but saw that cut to just a 15-14 advantage after the first quarter.
In the bronze-medal game, the Bulldogs flashed their teeth again in a comfortable 70-52 win over the Cowichan Thunderbirds.
“It was nice to bounce back and have a day of basketball,” said Bulldogs coach Kevin Brown, who got 19 points out of Erik Spaven and 16 from his game star Kane Johnston.
Belmont was hoping for a Claremont win so that the Bulldogs could challenge for the second provincial berth.
“I think we were a little psyched out [Friday]. We lack a bit of experience that some of the other programs have. Once in a while that bites you in the butt,” added Brown.
“We’re cheering for Claremont. It’s hard to cheer for the team that whooped ya the night before, but you have to do what you have to do,” Brown said with a laugh. “I was joking with Chris [Franklin, the Oak Bay coach], I told him to play Claremont exactly like we did.”
The Spartans were simply too much, led by guard Mason Loewen who was named the tournament’s most valuable player.
Earlier, Cowichan eliminated Spectrum 64-59 and Belmont downed Mount Doug 64-55 to advance to the bronze game. Daniel Massy had 16 points for Belmont in that win while Ashton MacKinnon had 20 for Mount Doug. Darian Vandermerwe had 24 for Spectrum while Cyrus Grey had 19 for Cowichan.
The first all-star team included Vandermerwe, Liam Horne and Mat Hampton of Oak Bay, Jerod Dorby of Cowichan and Spaven.
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