Captain Tegan Michel with Zuva Turner-Tan and Julia Preston, three of the four returning players who are at the core of the Oak Bay senior girls basketball team this year. The team opens the South Island high school season on Tuesday, three days after Turner-Tan sunk nine three-pointers in a pre-season tournament match. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Captain Tegan Michel with Zuva Turner-Tan and Julia Preston, three of the four returning players who are at the core of the Oak Bay senior girls basketball team this year. The team opens the South Island high school season on Tuesday, three days after Turner-Tan sunk nine three-pointers in a pre-season tournament match. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Retooled Oak Bay hoops team starts strong

‘Not the tallest,’ but Oak Bay are off to big start

With a new head coach, a new captain and a new core, the Oak Bay High senior girls basketball team is settled and ready for this week’s start to league play in the South Island high school basketball season.

Back in a head coaching role for the first time since he retired in 2014 is former Mount Douglas senior girls coach Rick Griffin. It’s a long story, but the school counsellor returned to part-time work a couple of years ago. And when you have someone with 35 years teaching experience and much of that spent coaching on the court, athletic directors like Richie Fast will notice (and he did).

READ MORE: Retirement comes early for Mount Doug coach ‘Griff’

It’s been a great start, as the team won all four games in its bracket of the annual Christmas Tournament this past weekend. They beat Samuel Robertson Tech (Maple Ridge) 79-53, North Delta 76-30, then edged the highly ranked Pitt Meadows Marauders 58-56 in the semifinal before taking down Eric Hamber 90-65.

Add that to the Nov. 29 tournament win, 62-60, over the defending AAA Island champions Nanaimo District Secondary School.

“Beating [Pitt Meadows and Nanaimo] by two points is huge for us,” said newly named captain Tegan Michel. “It gives us the confidence that we can compete against the better teams.”

The Grade 12 forward moved from point guard to the wing this year to accommodate a lack of overall height on the team.

“We’re not the tallest,” Michel said. “In the past, we’ve had [Oak Bay teams averaging] over six-feet. We have to be organized defensively so teams can’t lob balls over us. Overall we will have to make up for it as a team.”

READ MORE: Oak Bay girls net senior volleyball Island championship

Grade 11 student Julia Preston will start at point guard with Spanish international Celina Lopez and Michel will move to forward to do whatever the team needs, including battling for rebounds.

One way to stymie the other team is the Zuva method.

On Saturday, Zuva Turner-Tan sunk nine three-pointers.

“That pumps the team up,” Michel said. “She’s good at that.”

This week the Bays will head to Ottawa for the second half of their Experiences Canada exchange with players from St. Mother Theresa. Throughout the Christmas Tournament, Oak Bay was cheered on by their visiting billets from St. Mother Theresa in Ottawa.

“They were really vocal,” Griffin said. “Really loud.”

The Bays will enjoy a break after next week until the season restarts on Jan. 7.

“Hopefully we’re playing in March [playoffs],” Michel said.

reporter@oakbaynews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

February 17, 2021 - Kaelyn (L) and Costin Campbell are Goldstream News Gazette 2021 Local Heroes.
Pint-sized duo inspires others to be green

Costin and Kaelyn Campbell are this year’s Environmental Heroes

Erin Oldman received a scholarship through Royal Roads University (RRU), called the Legacy Award, which is given out once every five years. Oldman graduated from RRU with a Masters of Arts in Human Security and Peacebuilding, and is using the award to establish a charity called International Humanitarian Assessments, which helps people in war-torn areas of the Middle East. (Photo contributed by Erin Oldman)
Royal Roads University graduate receives $25,000 award

Erin Oldman will use the award to establish a charity in the Middle East

Sandy Carmichael is a Goldstream Gazette 2021 Local Hero as Seniors’ Champion. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Worker bee returns to volunteer: Sandy Carmichael a fixture at Langford Royal Canadian Legion

Sandy Carmichael is the 2021 recipient of the Seniors’ Champion Award

The It’s Critical campaign has raised $5.89 million towards its $7 million goal to expand critical care capacity at Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital. (Black Press Media file photo)
Critical care improvements make the list with Greater Victoria shoppers

Save-On-Foods pledges $300,000 to Victoria Hospitals Foundation’s It’s Critical campaign

West Shore Parks and Recreation facilities face a challenging future in terms of funding, due to reduced operations throughout the pandemic. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore Parks and Recreation faces challenging future

West Shore Parks and Recreation Society submits 2021 budget request to owner municipalities

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Dasher is back home with mom Christine Girvin thanks to some help from BC Ferries staff. Photo supplied
The cat came back, with help from BC Ferries staff

After Dasher made a dash, staff in Comox found her and got her home safe

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Most Read