This weekend's home basketball games were played in support of the Tessa Beauchamp foundation, an organization that provides scholarships and distributes funds to charity organizations both locally and internationally. The foundation was created to honour the memory of Tessa Beauchamp, the daughter of Royals head coach Steve Beauchamp and sister of Rachel Beauchamp, who tragically passed away in 2012 following a battle with cancer. The foundation's mission is to keep alive the caring, compassionate, competitive and beautiful spirit who was Tessa through the disbursement of scholarships to students in Canada and to distribute funds to registered charities to assist with local and international communities.
Steve Beauchamp spoke after Friday's game of Tessa's belief in making positive change in the community, saying "we've molded our actions around the person Tessa was".
"The impact in the community... it's the part that really makes you feel good about what we're doing," Beauchamp said of the foundation's efforts.
The event during the four Royals basketball games played on Friday and Saturday served as a prelude to the foundation's annual high-school girl's basketball tournament this coming weekend. The tournament will provide will award four scholarships of $1000 to basketball players in grade 12, and collecting unwanted basketball equipment to donate to people in need.
The Douglas men's and women's basketball teams wore purple warm-up jerseys as the teams took on the Okanagan Coyotes in the second home series of the new year for Royals basketball. The series would have a big impact on the PACWEST standings, as the Royals were half a game back of the visitors going into the weekend.
The game started out close, with both sides trading baskets for the majority of the opening quarter. Douglas was able to open up a seven-point lead before some quick baskets, including a buzzer-beating layup, cut the lead to 3 at the end of the quarter. The Coyotes managed to get a slim lead early in the second quarter before a 12-0 run from the hosts wiped out any advantage. Okanagan College made up some ground, closing the lead to 6 before the end of the half.
In the second half, the Royals regained their 12-point lead as Sydney Fraess hit four consecutive shots for eight of her ten points, all of which came in the third quarter. Once again, the visitors closed the gap to eight points before the buzzer, but the Royals afforded them no chance to make up ground with a dominant final quarter. As the Coyotes tried to play catch-up, they neglected defence, leaving easy paths to the basket for the Royals offence. The Royals played lockdown defence as well, allowing just 9 points in the fourth quarter while scoring 16 of their own to win the evening game 64-49. Rachel Beauchamp finished with 27 points, 13 rebounds and 4 steals.
Douglas was dominant in the Saturday afternoon game, denying the Coyotes any chance whatsoever to get into the game. The Royals opened the game on a 10-2 run and never looked back, stretching the lead to as many as 16 points in the second quarter.
Just as Fraess did in Friday's game, Beauchamp hit three straight buckets in the third quarter, this time stretching the lead to 20 points. The Coyotes would make up some ground but trailed by 15 after three quarters. In the fourth quarter, two big three-point shots from Brittany Dobbin and Gisha Sangha sealed the 72-54 win. Malena Mokhovikova impressed with 14 points and 7 rebounds in just 16 minutes off the bench.
The men's team were challenged early by the Coyotes on Friday but came back in a big way. The Coyotes opened the quarter on a 9-3 run and kept rolling, but the Royals climed back into the matchup behind Tyrone Asenoguan's ten points in the first quarter. Two big threes in the second quarter from Asenoguan and Courtney Anderson gave the Royals their first lead of the evening, and a three-ball from Josiah Mastandrea increased the lead to seven points, a lead which remained at the halftime buzzer.
The third quarter was one of the best single-quarter performances of the season from the Royals. After giving up an early triple, Douglas went on an incredible 16-0 run, with ten of those points coming from Courtney Anderson, who had a monster third quarter. By the end of the frame, the Royals were up by an unbelievable 22 points, having led by as many as 24.
The final quarter was a shootout as the Coyotes threw everything at the basket to get back into the game. They scored an impressive 31 points in the final frame, but neglected to defend and the Royals put up 25 to preserve their lead and come away with a huge 89-73 win. Tyrone Asenoguan had an incredible game, putting up 22 points, 7 rebounds and 3 steals in just 15 minutes off the bench. Courtney Anderson and Shane Toporowski scored 16 and 15 points respectively.S
On Saturday, the two sides went scoreless for almost the first two minutes and traded points thereafter. The Coyotes were able to open up a five-point lead on the hosts, but the Royals closed the gap to a single point by the end of the quarter. Asenoguan and Mastandrea made some big shots in the second quarter to open a six-point lead on Okanagan College, a lead which was relinquished and then restored before the end of the half.
The Royals stumbled in the third quarter. The Coyotes went on an 11-3 run to wipe out the Royals lead, and after a Shane Toporowski layup briefly gave the lead back to Douglas, the visitors embarked on a 10-3 run to extend their lead to five. Okanagan College was up by seven in the final minute of the third quarter, before a Mastandrea triple cut the Coyotes lead to four.
The Royals needed a big final quarter, and they delivered. Anderson scored 10 points in the quarter, and Sylvester Appiah had a big fourth-quarter performance as well, putting up 8 points and 4 rebounds en route to a 25-15 quarter for the Royals that restored their advantage and gave the Royals an 87-81 win.
The Royals play a rare Thursday-Friday series this week, visiting Nanaimo for two games against the VIU Mariners.