LANGLEY — David Thompson loves the way his players love the game.
The head coach of the Vancouver Island champion Oak Bay Bays got yet another commanding performance from his so-called ‘basketball junkies’ on Sunday morning, as the No. 5-seeded Victoria squad used a commanding third-quarter surge to hand Langley’s No. 20-seeded Brookswood Bobcats a 58-49 defeat here in the quarterfinals of the 2022 B.C. junior boys basketball championships (full tourney draw below).
“It’s a work in progress, we talk about it all the time, that there is a process we’re engaged in here to be a better basketball team and the big thing we know is that these kids are basketball junkies,” said Thompson, one of the province’s true coaching deans. “They want to do it better every time out, and they keep doing it, so I couldn’t be happier or prouder of them.”
The Bays, led just 32-27 at the half and then gave up the first basket of the second half, but they followed that with a game-changing 18-0 run with its combination of switching defences and pressure sets.
Nonetheless, Thompson didn’t feel safe until very late, owing to the skills of the Bobcats’ top two players.
“They have two kids that can play, and 22 and 23 are flat-out players,” Thompson said of LJ Carmichael and Logan Stewart. “We knew we had to control them and keep them from going off and we figured if we could, we had enough offensive power. We spread it out pretty well.”
Carmichael with 12 points and Stewart with 11 led the Cats.
Tyler Browne with 16, Diem Orser with 12, and Toren Franklin with 11 led the Bays.
The versatility and adaptability of Oak Bays’ defence was something that served it well throughout the game.
“We run zone and man, and we run trap and full, so we play combination defences all the time,” Thompson said. “So teams see zone and then man and we call it as we play, so we give them different looks.”
The Bays will next face the winner of the Vancouver College/SMUS clash in a Monday semifinal.
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