Basketball bounces back after break
Some of Nanaimo’s high school basketball teams might have been a step out of synch after a week off. Others were on the ball. Most of the city’s senior boys’ and senior girls’ teams were in action Tuesday.
One of the all-Nanaimo matchups took place at Cedar Community Secondary School, where the host Spartans defeated the Barsby Blazers in senior AA boys’ league play. The boxscore was not available, but Cedar had the game well in hand.
“We played five on, five off, so everyone got lots of playing time,” said Rick Hart, Spartans coach.
Eric Sackey and Brendan McCarthy, he said, had strong games for his team.
Another local matchup saw the Woodlands Eagles senior AA girls beat the Nanaimo District Islanders 52-36 at the NDSS gym. The game was a defensive battle, with both teams shooting poorly in the first half.
“We started playing some aggressive defence and causing turnovers and that resulted in us getting some baskets,” said Carl Macdonald, coach of the Eagles.
Michelle Berti scored 13 points for Woodlands and Pauline Dawson led ND with nine points.
The other game in Nanaimo on Tuesday was played at the Woodlands Secondary School gym, where the Eagles senior AA boys fell 71-62 to the Kwalikum Kondors. The game was tied 61-61, but with Eagles star Bryson Cox fouled out, the home team couldn’t keep pace with the visitors. Erik Van Waes and Connor Robertson played well in defeat.
"Even in losing you learn a lot," said Joey Spillman, Eagles coach. "We were able to hang in there with them and it's a good lesson before we get to playoffs."
In out-of-town action, the Dover Bay Dolphins defeated the Cowichan Thunderbirds 66-60 in senior AAA boys’ play. Dover trailed by 14 at the half but managed to come back for the win.
"It was a good battle…" said Reid Fralick, coach of the Dolphins. "Proud of the guys for stepping up and getting it done in the second half."
Jon Bethell's 25 points led his team and Brandon Kumar added 18 points.
Dover's girls also came up with a win on the road Tuesday, handing G.P. Vanier 77-43 in Courtenay. Emily Shires led the way with 26 points and Madison Rushton scored 17.
Also, the Wellington Wildcats senior AA girls thumped Timberline 89-24 up at Campbell River.
"We actually stepped up after a long drive, and we had all exam week off and we had the weekend off, so after having a couple good practices they stepped up and played well," said Nicole McRae, coach of the 'Cats girls.
Mariah Van Sickle scored a game-high 22 points on her birthday, Taelar Keir scored 19, Montana Mjaaland scored 17 and Vicky Brown added 16.
Welly’s senior AA boys lost to Ladysmith down the highway 61-58.
GAME ON … The Cedar Spartans senior AA boys are co-hosting a 16-team tournament with Ladysmith. Cedar's first game is today (Feb. 2) at 2 p.m. against the Ballenas Whalers. In league play tonight, the Woodlands Eagles senior AA girls host Timberline at 5 p.m. at the Woodlands Secondary School gym and the Wellington girls host Kwalikum at 5 p.m. at the Wellington Secondary School gym. Also, the NDSS girls host Highlands at 5 p.m. at Nanaimo District Secondary School. On Friday (Feb. 3), the Wildcats senior AA girls tip off an eight-team tournament at their school gym. Welly's first game is at 11:45 a.m. against Carihi and the tournament final will be Saturday at 4:30 p.m.