By Davie Wong
Week two of PACWEST Basketball action saw the Royals taking on their opponents over the strait in two back to back games over the weekend. They started in Victoria, with the Royals visiting the VIU Mariners.
The women got the matchup started with a strong opening quarter, sinking 18 points to start the game. The Mariners held their own, answering with 15 in the first, and 15 points in the second. However, the ladies managed to keep their heads up, scoring 16 in the second to take the 4 point lead into half time.
Coming back out in the third, the Mariners were unable to solve the Royals defense and were held to just seven points. But that defense faltered in the fourth, and the Royals allowed the Mariners to outscore them in what was a bit of a fourth quarter scare. Nonetheless, the Royals stuck through with their game plan and came out with a win against the defending provincial champions.
A spectacular effort from Ellen Fallis and Rachel Beauchamp really helped the team down their island rivals. Fallis gave the Royals a 20 point effort and was a constant threat, spending 34 minutes on the court. Rachel Beauchamp was a defensive rebounding machine, grabbing 12 defensive rebounds on her way to 17 total rebounds, and 12 points for the double-double.
The men picked up right after the women but with a bit different results. The game started on quite the even leg as both teams took some time to get adapted to each other's style of play. Scoring was limited in the first with the Royals draining 15 but allowing 18. The second was a scoring frenzy for both sides. A 20 point quarter was the bright side for the Royals as they got run over by the VIU offense, surrendering 32 points in the second quarter alone. Half time saw the Royals side try to make resurgence with a 39 point effort in the second half, but the Mariners answered with 41 of their own. At the final whistle, the score stood at 91-74, with the Royals taking their second loss in as many games.
The teams' next game was on the island of Nanaimo, where they would take on the struggling Camosun Chargers. The women had a slow start to their game as the offense took some time to get adjusted to the Chargers defense, scoring 13 in the opening quarter. However, they cracked the Chargers' line in the second and dropped 23 points on them in the second, while limiting the Chargers to 10 points of their own.
The third quarter was simply clinical for the Royals. 30 points in the quarter really emphasized the team's offensive dominance, and was only marred by the 23 they allowed on defense. A sensational finish saw the visitors box out the Chargers, denying any hope of a comeback.
The team was led by an inspiring performance by Sarah Jorgenson. In her 18 and a half minutes on the court, she racked up a total of 22 points, with 16 from the field and a 61 shooting percentage, and 6 from the line with a 60 shot percentage. Rachel Beauchamp was also ever-present for her team, draining 19 points and picking up another 10 rebounds for her second double-double of the week and third in as many games.
The men came into the game against the Chargers on equal footing, with both teams starting the season 0-2. Determined to not drop a third game, the Royals came out guns blazing. A 23 point effort set the tone, and the Chargers answered right back in the second with a 22 point effort of their own. Going into half time, only a single point separated both teams.
The Royals set the tone in the third, letting their cannons loose and sinking 28 points in the quarter alone. However, the Chargers were right behind them with a 19 point effort. Down, but not out, the Chargers made a desperate bid to come back, and it nearly worked. Time was their enemy as the Royals managed to hold on for the win, 72-68.
Grant Campbell was the standout performer for the Royals side. The guard scored 25 points and snagged 8 rebounds to give his team the win. Malcolm Mensah and Lambert Pajayon both had great performances for the team as well, each picking up 14 points.