Hoops teams tip off

Wellington boys defeat Cedar boys, NDSS girls win with just five players.

Cedar Spartans guard Jake Crow

Cedar Spartans guard Jake Crow

Basketball is back. High school hoops tipped off for real Tuesday with the first day of league competition.

The evening’s feature game was an all-Nanaimo matchup at the Cedar Community Secondary School gym, where the Wellington Wildcats defeated the Cedar Spartans 75-61 in senior AA boys’ competition.

“We controlled the boards and got a lot of easy looks inside,” said Glenn Johnson, coach of the Wildcats. “We ran our offence well, passed the ball, got some openings and took advantage of it.”

Wildcats guard Jin Han said his team has success when it runs its plays.

“We have to execute the plays that coach Johnson is making, and when we did that, we got lots of good shots,” said Han.

He said the season-opening win will serve his team well.

“It’s a good feeling,” said Han. “We’re going to show up next game and we have to keep strong.”

Spartans coach Rick Hart said his team didn’t respond to tipoff, starting flat.

“They put a little press on us and we weren’t very good at handling it,” he said. “[We] got down 10 and that’s pretty much where the game was most of the time.”

Wellington’s Aaron Copley led all scorers with 22 points and Brad Jenks added 16. Cedar was led by Brendan McCarthy, who scored 18, and Jake Crow who supplied 17.

Also tipping off the regular season were the Nanaimo District Islanders senior AA girls, who travelled to Courtenay and beat the Isfeld Ice 45-43.

The game was notable in that NDSS played the first half with just five players.

Three Islanders were injured, one was sick and one was at dance recital, said coach Jim Richardson, but one player, stuck at school writing a make-up test, made it to Courtenay halfway through the third quarter. Her arrival came just in time as a teammate fouled out early in the fourth quarter.

Leigh Richardson scored 16 points, Megan Skeeles added 15 and Darian Sport-Maxwell made a game-saving defensive play in the dying seconds.