Shuswap Middle School’s Grade 8 boys basketball team cruised to an undefeated weekend, winning three tournament games and a regular season matchup, defeating Vernon Christian School 36-34.
In the final game against the Royals, Darian Sundby led Shuswap with 15 points, while Matthew Paiement added 14 points and received player of the game honours for his strong play at both ends of the court.
Over the weekend SMS hosted the third annual Barry Dearing Invitational Tournament, and the two-day affair was a great success.
“The tournament was well attended, teams competed hard, money was raised for the Barry Dearing Endowment Fund, and it was nice to spend two full days with a fantastic group of people remembering and telling stories about a great man – Mr. Barry Dearing,” said Phoenix head coach Aaron Smith.
Teams competing in the tournament represented cities from the South, Central, and North Okanagan – KVR from Penticton, Dr. Knox from Kelowna, VSS and Fulton from Vernon, and Westsyde from Kamloops all attended the two-day tournament.
On Friday, the Phoenix began the weekend by defeating Westsyde 46-42, in a game that went down to the last few shots.
Shuswap’s Matthew Paiement scored a game-high 16 points, and Chase Henning provided strong secondary scoring with 12 points.
Henning was named player of the game for his great defence and hustle on the court.
In Shuswap’s second game on Friday, they hosted Fulton Secondary and defeated the Maroons 62-57 at the end of nail-bitting double overtime.
The exciting and intense game between the two rivals was doubly important as it was the final league game between the two squads.
Darian Sundby led all scorers with 26 points and was named the Barry Dearing player of the game for Shuswap, while Henning added 16 points and Paiement chipped in 13 of his own.
On Saturday, Shuswap defeated KVR 35-25 for the Phoenix’s third and final victory in the tournament.
Both teams played tough defence and had a tough time scoring in the first half, but Shuswap got their offence going in the second half behind Paiement’s nine points, Sundby’s eight points and Forest Yurkowski’s seven points.
Yurkowski played outstanding defence the entire game, and received the Barry Dearing player of the game for Shuswap.
“I would like to thank all of the referees who donated their time and money to officiate the 10 games this weekend at the tournament. Mr. Dearing would be pleased and honoured,” said Smith.
As league play winds down this week, Shuswap ended their regular season with a 9-2 record and looks poised to finish second or third in the standings.
Shuswap will earn home-court advantage in the playoffs and host a quarter-final game Monday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m.