LANGLEY — Welcome to Day 2 of the 2023 Tsumura Basketball Invitational.
What a day, led by the Grade 9 superstar Jordyn Nohr and her 44 points in Brookswood’s OT win over Mulgrave, and Seaquam taking down Quad-A No. 1 Argyle! Can you stand it!
Full game reports below:
(All games played at South Court)
TOP HALF DRAW
4A No. 1 RIVERSIDE 72 3A No. 3 ST. MICHAELS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL 50
LANGLEY — It was the kind of start every team wants, and by virtue of its net effect, also the kind of start every opposition team wants to avoid.
It’s also the kind of start that a team looking to make a point to itself about playing like the best team in the province seems especially intent on making here at TBI 2023.
Quad-A No. 2-ranked Riverside came bolting out of the blocks off the opening tip in its quarterfinal game Thursday against Victoria’s Triple-A No. 3 St. Michaels University School, starting the contest on a 22-4 tear.
Ask the Rapids’ 5-foot-10 Grade 11 guard Jorja Hart about all of that business, and you get the feeling that her team’s recent loss to current No. 1 Arygle is helping light a fire under all of their sneakers all week long her at the LEC.
“I think a big thing was coming out with a lot of enerrgy and picking each other up and creating mometum for the game… scoring a lot helps that mometum,” summed Hart who who scored a game-high 21, 11 of which came over the PoCo team’s sizzling first quarter.
SMUS’ Blue Jags found healthy stretches in which they were able to step up and figuratively punch more commensurate with their weight class, and when they did, led by the likes of guards Alex Motherwell (17 points) and Maddy Albert (13 points), they proved themselves indeed a team to be reckoned with.
Yet with starting point guard Avery Geddes in street clothes on the bench with a hand injury, Riverside’s depth and explosiveness was simply too much to handle.
“We played them on the weekend in Victoria and know they are a very fundamentaly-strong team with talented players,” Hart added, “but we know that if just work hard and play our game, no matter who we are playing against, if we play true to ourselves, we can come out with a good outcome.”
Grade 11 guard Maliya Mendoza broke out with a 17 point performance for the winners, while team leaders and senior point guard Avery Sussex 13 points.
Riverside will face the winner of Thursday’s Burnaby Central-Yale quarterfinal in Friday’s 7:45 p.m. semifinal.
4A No. 4 BURNABY CENTRAL 57 4A No. 9 YALE 54
It’s not often these days that the Burnaby Central Wildcats are made to look toothless on the basketball court.
Yet over the first half of its TBI quarterfinal Thursday here at the LEC against Abbotsford Yale Lions, their ability to snarl seemed largely absent.
Yet isn’t it funny how in this game, a short half-time locker room coaching session can turn darkness in light?
The Wildcats were trailing 36-21 at the half so they scrapped their first-half offence, and head coach Chris Ducharme decided to install something new for the final 20 minutes, and his hunch somehow played perfectly to the dynamic the team had been looking for.
“It was a completely different offence and we don’t use it very often but it worked becaue it gave us space to operate, because we’re a driving team,” said Ducharme. “It gave us the space to drive because they wanted to take away our threes.. they wanted to take away Jayla (Huynh) and Ankita (Chopra).”
Huynh, who hit three of her four triples after the intermission and finished with 12 points, agreed with her coach.
“I think it did (give us space) because when you push the ball and get going, it’s harder for the defence to move, so it opened up the offence a little bit for us,” she said.
Chopra hit a second-half triple and finished with 15 points, while senior guard Kierra Blundell scored a game-high 16 points.
The victory sends the Wildcats into Friday’s 7:45 p.m. semifinal against the Riverside Rapids.
BOTTOM HALF DRAW
3A No. 1 BROOKSWOOD 62 2A No. 1 MULGRAVE 60
LANGLEY — B.C.’s newest high school basketball superstar appears to have arrived in the form of 5-foot-9 Grade 9 guard Jordyn Nohr.
One day after she scored 33 points in a 64-57 TBI opening-round win over Kelowna, the daughter of former Canadian national team point guard Randy Nohr took things up yet another notch, scoring 44 points Thursday as Triple-A No. 1 Brookswood went to overtime to defeat the No. 1-ranked defending B.C. Double-A powers from West Vancouver’s Mulgrave Secondary 62-60 in the quarterfinals.
With her team trailing 55-47 in the dying stages of regulation time, Nohr captained a comeback by hitting a three-pointer to tie the game 55-55 and send it into the extra frame.
“She has been double-teammed for years,” said Jordyn’s mom Chrissy Nohr, Brookswood’s head coach, “so she’s kind of used to it. She knows how to attack double teams and what do out of it.
“And she does have composure… I don’t know where she got that from,” Chrissy Nohr added with a laugh.
So, not too far removed from the remarkable Aislinn Konig’s run with the Bobcats, it appears Brookswood will once again bring true star aura to its Langley-based program.
Six other Bobcats accounted for the team’s remaining 16 points, led by Ashley Vande Ven with six and Mac Pogue with five.
Chrissy Nohr coached a Brookswood team led by her daughter to last season’s B.C. junior championship.
While Jordyn Nohr, Vande Ven and Emma Lenhoff have made the jump to senior varsity this season as ninth graders, in addition to the majority of players now on the senior varsity roster, the coach feels the move has been the right one in terms of offering her student-athletes the perfect level of challenge for their age and skill level.
“I had no idea what to expect this early but our main focus is individuals getting better and for them stay in junior, it wouldn’t have helped,” Chrissy Nohr correctly states. “This year they have to work hard in every game.”
While Brookswood battles for a B.C. Triple A crown this season, Mulgrave is still considered the favorite to win at Double-A as it looks to create a mini-dynasty of its own at the tier.
On Thursday, still playing without a key player in Ava Wilson, the Titans looked to be on their way to the semfinals until Nohr tightened the drawstring on her cape and managed her own version of leaping a tall building in a single bound.
Jenna Talib continues to produce at her own torrid early pace, scoring a team-leading 24 points for Mulgrave. Eva Ruse added a further 15 while Lucy Xu had seven points.
Brookswood will face North Delta’s Seaquam Seahawks in a 6:15 p.m. semifinal on Friday.
4A No. 3 SEAQUAM 79 4A No. 1 ARGYLE 66
LANGLEY — It was a game which begged an obvious question for the B.C. girls high school basketball historians out there.
Have North Delta’s Seaquam Seahawks senior girls varsity team ever beaten a top-tiered No. 1-ranked team at any time in its 46-year program history?
From this lifelong North Delta resident, the answer is a very likely ‘No’, yet in the wake of the No. 3-ranked Seahawks’ 79-66 victory over the freshly-minted No. 1 Argyle Pipers of North Vancouver in the TBI quarterfinals on Thursday came a cold dose of perspective from the team’s head coach.
“I don’t go back that far with all the history, but I think this is one of the bigest wins in the history of the program,” said a proud Lucky Toor, “but having said that, I’ll take it with a grain of salt because it is a December win. We just have to stay in the moment here and learn what we did well.”
And a large part of that is the realization that nothing worth having ever comes without working through adversity.
Thursday’s game was the third meeting of the young season between the two teams, and the Seahawks entered play Thursday having lost the first two, including a 30-point blistering suffered last week to the Pipers in the second round of the Victoria Police tournament.
On Thursday, Seaquam was intent on trashing the old mojo and kickstarting a wave of team re-invention.
And if there was a memo circulated to stress just that, then Grade 11 guard Mackenzie Henderson not only got it, she took it to heart.
Henderson knocked down six triples, including four exceptionally well-timed downtown daggers in the second half, each of which seemed specifically timed to remind the Pipers that they were serious about protecting their lead.
“We have multiple shooters that can get hot at any time and today was her day,” said Toor, whose team drained 11 triples on the game. “They were huge shots for us, and a lot of them the right ones… the ones we needed to take.”
“I had to breathe,” Henderson said after the game, almost losing her breath again as she recounted the events. “I had to think about… just slow down, let myself just… don’t think think about it.”
Toor said that his team’s post play was the key for so much of what went right for Seaquam.
Post Sydney Roufosse had an influence in the “decoy” department which went well beyond her six points scored. And when so much of the offence was coming off its outside shooting and the dynamic, wide-striding attack of guard Camryn Tait (16 points), Neelum Sidhu was there to represent in the points-in-the-paint department with 17.
Guards Callie Brost (12 points) and Syra Toor (nine points) all lent their offensive touch.
Seaquam led 40-30 at halftime, yet the balanced and talented Pipers just kept on closing gaps, collecting 26 free throw trips on the game.
Four Argyle players hit double figures in scoring, led by Braeli Adrian with 14. Isabella Miljkovic added 13, Reese Tam 11 and Sadie Danks 10.
“We had a horrible game,” Toor said looking back to its loss last week to Argyle. “We were a shell of ourselves so today for us was just staying in the moment and believing we can be on the same stage and and play with a team of that calibre because if we don’t generate that belief now, it’s going to be hard to generate it later.”
The Seahawks will face Brookswood in Friday’s 6:45 p.m. semifinal.
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