By Davie Wong
It was a tough call as to whether the large amount of snow which the lower mainland received over the weekend would hinder a hopeful weekend full of basketball. On the initial night, things were okay, and the Royals took on the Capilano Blues in a heated matchup.
For the women, it was a battle to prove themselves a top team against the league's best. Having been undefeated so far in the season, the Blues have found themselves an unprecedented amount of success. They sat at the top of the table, four games ahead of the Royals, who chased them at second.
However, from the start of the game, you wouldn't have guess it would be the Blues chasing. The home team played wonderfully to start the game. Their 16 points in the first quarter put them ahead in the game, and their defense kept the Blues to just 6. But the Royals offensive engine stalled in the second quarter, and they found themselves grabbing only 4 points to the 6 of the Blues.
Coming out of half time with the score 20-14, the Blues pushed that extra mile to really give us a game. They took the lead a couple of times that quarter, scoring 23 points while doing so. But the Royals came up big when it mattered, and kept themselves as the team to catch, scoring 18 points to just hold the lead headed into the fourth quarter.
From there, it was a routine choke from the Royals, as the defense squeezed every point out from the Blues. It was tight at times, but the home team stood its ground, picking up the win 57-51. The Royals could thank a couple of players for that win. Ellen Fallis had a massive night, picking up 21 points and 7 rebounds. Rachel Beauchamp also had a massive night with an 18 point performance, and 9 rebounds to boot.
The men tipped off right after that epic bout. Definitely the underdog of this match up, the Royals started the game off very strongly, taking a 19-1 point lead to start the game. But the Blues stormed back into the set and it was 19-12 to end the quarter. The second quarter gave us a really close battle, with both teams trading baskets back and forth. The Blues came out slightly ahead, but still trailed the Royals 37-32 going into halftime.
Something happened during the break that turned the Royals on to a whole new level. They kicked on offensively to a level the fans have yet to see this season. The Royals torched the Blues for 32 points in the third quarter, and 29 points in the fourth quarter for a crazy strong finish. What was once a close game turned into a blowout as the Royals took a 98-71 point win.
Several Royals had huge games. Captain Grant Campbell had 27 points, 8 assists, and 4 rebounds on the night. Malcolm Mensah had 22 points, while rookie Lambert Pajayon came in clutch several times during the night with 13 points. Reese Morris was also on a whole 'nother level, picking up his second double-double on the season with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Overall, just a wonderful performance from the entire team.