HIGH SCHOOL HOOPS: Multi-talented Lions win Police tourney; Bays win boys Police tourney; Rams gut Bays in league thriller

Lambrick Lions girls basketball team prove they are toast of the Island with Police tourney win

Oak Bay's Crosby Stewart clings to the ball from the prying hands of St. Michaels Blue Jags players Mark Yorath (not seen) and Monty Fraser-Brown

Basketball isn’t Chelsea Strandlund’s sport. Neither is volleyball.

But Strandlund has now earned MVP awards in both sports this season. The Lambrick Park senior helped her Lions to first place at the Victoria Police High School Basketball Tournament at St. Michaels University School on Saturday.

Lambrick doubled St. Mikes 62-31 in the all-AA final.

Strandlund was named the MVP, and Lions starters Tyger Holt and Sarah Lefebvre were named to the all-star team.

The trio are part of a successful core that has the Lambrick team ranked No. 2 among AA teams in the province. St. Mikes are ranked No. 7.

“The whole team is made of leaders,” Lions basketball coach Rocky Vitale said. “They thrive off each other, and all hate to lose, and that’s hard to find. Lots of players show up but are along for the ride. Not this group.”

Vitale said the Lions had never practised the offensive pattern they ran in the Police final against St. Mikes, the first time he’s accomplished such a feat in high school girls basketball.

“This group is so competitive they make adjustments on the run. They adjusted fast after (losing to Claremont and Oak Bay at) the St. Michaels Invitational the week before.”

Though Strandlund’s adept on the hardcourt her main sport is baseball, said Vitale, who also instructs her as the head of the Lambrick Park baseball academy.

“She’s the best short stop in the province and, in my eyes, Strandlund is close to being the top all-around athlete in B.C. if she isn’t,” Vitale said.

Lions athletes doing doubling on hardcourt

Four of the Lions basketball starters are going on to varsity athletics at university for other sports. Strandlund is headed to play semi-pro softball in New Zealand before starting NCAA career. Holt is weighing NCAA options for volleyball. Sarah Lefebvre is committed to UVic for soccer and Mackenzie Smith is going to Stanford next year for softball.

Rams top Bays in overtime thriller

Height was the Oak Bay Bays’ undoing on Monday night when the Mount Douglas Rams won the AAA boys league game 109-97.

The host Bays came into the match having won the boys Police tourney while the Rams lost to Pitt Meadows in the final of the Pitt Meadows Air Show.

Oak Bay nearly pulled out the win in regulation when Elliott Rowe tied it for the Rams on a buzzer-beater. With 1.2 seconds left, Rowe took the inbound pass and scored from the three point line.

“We thought it was for three, our team celebrated like we won the game,” said Rams coach Skip Cronck.

The referee soon informed them the shot was only for two points and the game moved to overtime. Bays star Evan Woodson scored 12 of his game-high 38 points to keep the Bays in it. But the Rams’ towering duo of Conor Morgan (6-foot-7) and Curtis Wilson (6-foot-6) took over in OT, scoring 17 and eight points, respectively.

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