It's difficult to prevail when your opponent attacks from outside and inside.
The Archbishop Carney Stars senior boys basketball team made a valiant effort at defending it's B.C. boys Catholic hoop title before getting bounced in the semifinals 55-39 by Holy Cross on Friday.
Reeling from a tough matchup, and a virus that had zapped a handful of starters' strength, Carney struggled in the third-place contest and were vanquished 72-39 by Vancouver College.
With two starters out of the lineup and three others flagging, the result wasn't a complete mishap.
"They boys put a lot of pressure on themselves as the defending champions, but we had the norovirus running through our roster by Saturday, so it was tough to put our best foot forward," noted Carney coach Steve McGinley.
"We left the tournament and identified some weaknesses and strengths in preparation for our next goal - league play and the Fraser Valleys."
They opened the tourney with a polished 45-27 triumph over Single-A No. 1 Immaculata, where six-foot-seven forward Patrick Simon squared off against six-foot-11 Alex Hart and came out on the winning end.
Against No. 2-AA Holy Cross, Carney came out flatfooted and trailed 18-3 after one quarter. The rest of the way they kept pace with the home side, but couldn't dig themselves out from the deficit. They had little left in the tank against Vancouver College.
Earning a second team all-star honour was forward Patrick Simon, while Grade 11 guard Alex Baumann was chosen the tournament's Most Inspirational Player.
STAR GIRLS LOSE STARTING GUARD
The Archbishop Carney Stars AA senior girls basketball team were cast in the role of underdog at last week's B.C. Catholic basketball championships and gave a good showing.
The Stars drew Single-A No. 4 Immaculata in the opener, and held their own before falling 48-43. Turning in sharp efforts were Ashley Dallazanna and Grade 10 Olivia Sosnowski, who racked up 25 points and seven boards.
The squad however lost starting point guard Daniella Mitchell to a knee injury in the opener. Despite that setback, Carney delivered a gutsy performance en route to a 58-27 victory over Little Flower Academy.
Behind a six treys by Megan Lui, the Stars overcame the loss of their back court floor marshal with a well-rounded team attack. Lui ended up with 27 points and four assists, while Dallazanna scored 19 points and 16 rebounds.
"It was a great opportunity to get our entire team into the game and to work towards refining our press and our defence to offensive transitions," remarked Carney coach Joel Ditson.
It put them against archrival Notre Dame in the battle for fifth place. Ditson plugged Grade 9 guards Chantal Dallazanna and Nicole Godkin into the lineup and was pleased with the results.
"(They) showed basketball skills and intuition beyond their years," noted Ditson. "We went into the half with a 24-21 lead, but unfortunately in the end it wasn't enough as we struggled to get the ball inside against the packed-in two-three zone of Notre Dame."
Notre Dame won 48-39. Lui was named a second team all-star, while Roxanne Nocos was awarded a B.C. Catholic scholarship.