Dover, Woodlands, Wellington all win

Dover player Blanca Vallejo, front, jostles for positioning Tuesday at the Dover Bay Secondary School gym. - GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin
Dover player Blanca Vallejo, front, jostles for positioning Tuesday at the Dover Bay Secondary School gym.
— image credit: GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

The Dover Bay Dolphins knew they were playing a talented team and they just wanted to keep it close and give themselves a chance. They did that, and more.

Dover’s senior AAA girls’ basketball team beat the Alberni Armada 74-71 on Tuesday night in north Nanaimo.

The taller Armada have scored some impressive tournament victories this season, but the Dolphins girls weren’t intimidated, jumping to an early lead. Alberni snatched back the edge by halftime, but Dover responded.

“I told the girls at halftime, don’t worry, we’re going to start hitting shots and as soon as we came out in the third we started hitting shots and I think that’s why the game sort of took a turn,” said Dale Nicks, coach of the Dolphins.

Emily Shires led the way with a game-high 24 points and McKenzie Nicks added 14.

The game was supposed to be the first half of a doubleheader at the Dover Bay Secondary School gym, but Frances Kelsey no-showed a senior AAA boys’ matchup that was supposed to be the regular-season opener for both teams.

The Nanaimo District Islanders senior AAA boys did get in their season opener Tuesday, an 87-66 loss to the G.P. Vanier Towhees at the NDSS gym.

Tuesday’s high school hoops action was also highlighted by two games pitting the Woodlands Eagles against the Barsby Blazers.

Woodlands hosted the senior AA boys’ game and won 97-35. Bryson Cox had a mammoth 46-point game for the Eagles and Erik Van Waes had 23 points. For the Blazers, Austin Lyle scored 18 and Jordan Kuziek added 14.

“We came out with a lot of energy,” said Cox. “We wanted to run through our plays, rotate the ball really well and when we had an open look, take it. It worked.”

Woodlands also won the senior AA girls’ matchup at John Barsby Community Secondary School, 52-31.

“It was a good game,” said Carl Macdonald, coach of the Eagles. “The girls really worked hard on team concepts.”

Another senior AA girls’ game in town saw the Wellington Wildcats defeat the Isfeld Ice 64-42. Despite the comfortable margin of victory, ’Cats coach Nicole McRae said her team played careless basketball.

“They didn’t play with intensity…” she said. “It doesn’t matter who your opponent is, you need to be the same team every time you show up.”

Mariah Van Sickle, Vicky Brown and Taelar Keir all scored 14 points to lead Wellington.

Also playing a home game Tuesday were the Cedar Spartans senior AA boys, who were defeated 77-69 by the Kwalikum Kondors.

“They basically zoned us the whole game, trying to take it out of our post’s hands, and I guess they did,” said Rick Hart, coach of the Spartans.

Brendan McCarthy still managed 26 points and teammate Jake Crow scored 14.

GAME ON … Tonight (Jan. 12) there are two local games on the schedule. The Cedar Spartans senior A girls host Queen Margaret’s at 4 p.m. and the Nanaimo District Islanders senior AA girls host Kwalikum at 5 p.m.

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