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High school basketball season tipping off in Nanaimo

Wellington beats Barsby, Dover wins tournament
GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin Wellington Wildcats player Owen Rains gets past Barsby Bulldogs opponents en route to the basket during a senior AAA league game Tuesday night at the Wellington Secondary School gym. The home team prevailed 66-57.

High school basketball will see some good all-Nanaimo matchups this season.

The court sport has recently started up, mostly with tournament and exhibition action, but senior AAA league play has started and the Wellington Wildcats are off to a 2-0 start.

The ’Cats played their reular-season home opener Tuesday at the Wellington Secondary School gym, defeating the John Barsby Bulldogs 66-57.

“They played well, they showed some good composure throughout the game. Any league win is a good win,” said Luke Letham, Wellington coach. “We have a really strong league this year and north Islands is going to be very tough.”

He said the game plan going in was to be able to match Barsby’s physicality inside and said that generally happened, with good intensity at both ends of the court.

Justin Goodman led Wellington with 17 points and Cameroon Kasook and Emil Carmona scored 12 each.

Barsby was led by Zach Taylor, who scored 23, and Ethan Katzberg, who added 13.

Letham said his team has been getting good results and pointed to a 75-73 win against the senior AAAA Nanaimo District Islanders at the Cowichan Welcome Back tournament this past weekend in Duncan.

“We’re a younger team, so I’m hoping we’re only going to improve. We’ve had some games where I’ve seen our potential and now it’s kind of just getting to that level every game and not taking nights off,” the coach said.

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The Dover Bay Dolphins ended up winning the Welcome Back tournament, defeating Wellington in the final.

Dover and NDSS will be in the same senior AAAA division this year.

GAME ON … Dover’s senior boys don’t play their first league game until the new year, but exhibitions before then including a game against the Ladysmith ’49ers on Friday, Dec. 14, at 3 p.m. at the Dover Bay Secondary School gym. NDSS plays its regular-season opener on the road against Cowichan on Dec. 19.

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