By Davie Wong
Basketball is back at Douglas! To be precise, the Royals are coming home for the first time in 2017. This weekend the Royals play against the VIU Mariners and the Camosun Chargers as the island comes to them. It's bound to be an exciting set of matches as both Royals squads have much to gain.
The Royals are coming off a big win against CBC but also a tough loss against the Capilano Blues for both squads. On the women's side, they will be facing off against a red hot VIU squad and a powerful Camosun team. The Mariners are coming off two huge wins from their start to their 2017 season. Their big three players have found a way to get things done for their squad in a very efficient fashion, quite similar to Royals big three in Rachel Beauchamp, Ellen Fallis, and Sarah Jorgenson. A win will give the Royals a cushion away from the Mariners who are right on their tailcoats in the standings. Needless to say. It is going to be a very exciting game when these two go head to head.
On the men's side, the Royals are coming off a tough loss to the Capilano Blues and are jumping right into the clutches of a streaking VIU team. The Mariners have an extremely well rounded team and have at least four players that have been scoring nightmares for the opposition. But their focus on offense has been the bane of their play as well, as their defense has had a hard time keeping other teams off the board. The Royals can take advantage of that, using their many offensive outlets to outscore the Mariners.
A win for the Royals wouldn't move them up the table, but would close the gap between them and the Mariners. A loss could see them take a further step away from the top of half of the table.
The next day the Chargers come to visit the Royals. They will be coming off an undoubtedly tough game against the Capilano Blues. The women's Chargers team are within the top four and will be looking break into the exclusive top three this weekend, in which the Royals hold a spot. Their start to 2017 has been alright, with the team going 1-1 since the start of the New Year.
The Chargers have been playing with a 2 scorer system, funneling much of their offense to guard Kathryn Candell and wing Carly Hopp. With solid defensive system and the record to prove it, the Royals should be confident in their ability to play against the Chargers system. A win would give the Royals even more of a cushy space on the standings against the Chargers. A loss would nearly close the gap between the two.
For the men, the Chargers will be a test of strength. The Camosun squad are 2-6 on the season, but have a record not quite indicative of their play this season. Many of their games have been close matches that could have gone either way, including their last game against the Royals.
While they have looked strong on certain nights, they've faltered others. Consistency is the key they are missing, and the Royals can capitalize early, as they have so often done, if the Chargers fail to find their pace. A win would put the Royals a potential 3 games ahead of the Chargers and give them the head-to-head should it come to a tiebreaking situation.