BASKETBALL: Mount Doug Rams win second tourney in two weeks

Mount Douglas Rams crack top-10 AAA rankings in B.C., win Gary Taylor Classic over host Oak Bay Bays

Oak Bay Bays guard Kaz  Kobayashi

Oak Bay Bays guard Kaz Kobayashi

There’s a lot more to the Mount Douglas Rams boys basketball team than all-stars Conor Morgan and Elliott Rowe.

No doubt the two returning seniors are the face of the Rams – Rowe is possibly the premier guard on the Island and Morgan’s a rare combination of height (6-foot-7) and shooting ability.

But keying on those two only invites a hungry roster of Rams pawing the hardwood for a chance to shoot the ball.

And shoot the ball they can.

The high-scoring Rams put up 91 points to the Oak Bay Bays 83 on Saturday in the final of Oak Bay’s Gary Taylor Classic.

Rowe scored 30 points in the final against Oak Bay and was named the tourney’s MVP as he joined Conor (29 points) on the tourney’s first all-star team. It’s the second straight tournament win for the Rams, who beat the Belmont Bulldogs in the Cowichan Welcome Back championship final one week earlier.

On Dec. 15, the Rams were ranked 10th in the province among AAA teams, one back of the ninth ranked Bays, though that rank is expected to flip.

“We can put ’em up – there’s no problem scoring baskets,” said Dave Morgan, who coaches the Rams with Skip Cronck.

For their part, the Bays can “put ’em up too.” Despite losing it was Oak Bay’s second time surpassing 80 points in one week. The Bays beat the Claremont Spartans 84-74 in league play on Dec. 13.

But the Rams never trailed in the Gary Taylor final, leading the Bays by as much as 18 points at one point.

“For us to be more than an outside shot at provincials the key is defence. We’re working on it and we’re improving,” said coach Morgan, who’s with the Rams so he could be part of his son’s team.

For Conor Morgan, a more rounded game is paramount not only for winning close contests, but also for a chance at a post-secondary playing career.

In the meantime the Rams have kept their opponents in check with the best offence on the Island.

Rowe runs the floor but more and more, the ball is going to Grade 11 guard Harry Mar.

“Mar’s coming into his own and gaining confidence as a top-six player,” Morgan said. “It gives Rowe a chance to shoot.”

Another Grade 11, 6-foot-5 Curtis Wilson is still growing. He nabbed 16 rebounds against Oak Bay on Saturday. The Rams also have a secret weapon in Gurpinder Kang, “another strong shooter they can turn to,” as well as a dedicated bench of Grade 12 role players including Terrell Davis, Toby Zhu and Sarbi Bassi.

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