Wellington, Cedar defeat neighbours

The Wellington Wildcats and Cedar Spartans won all-Nanaimo matchups in high school basketball league play Tuesday.

Barsby Blazers player Robert Morris

Barsby Blazers player Robert Morris

High school basketball bounced into the holiday break with two all-Nanaimo matchups.

On Tuesday, the last day of league play until the new year, the Wellington Wildcats defeated the Woodlands Eagles 72-46 in senior AA boys’ action and the Cedar Spartans handled the Barsby Blazers 71-45, also in senior AA boys’ play.

Eagles coach Joey Spillman said after the game at Woodlands Secondary School that he takes his hat off to Wellington.

“They’re well-coached and they’re a really good team, they’ve put a lot of time in, it looks like,” he said.

Spillman said he’ll go back to the drawing board after the loss to try to help his players find better results.

“They were pretty upset about the loss and I told them it’s about accountability, coming into practice and working and staying together, staying positive and staying focused.”

Bryson Cox led Woodlands with 18 points.

Over at John Barsby Community Secondary School, the visiting Spartans built a 45-24 halftime lead and maintained the advantage.

Brendan McCarthy scored a game-high 18 points for Cedar and Jake Crow had 13. For Barsby, Austin Lyle scored 15 points and Jordan Kuziek supplied 13.

Barsby coach Kirstin Polz was encouraged by his team’s play in defeat, noting the Blazers had only practised twice before the game.

“To be able to score 45 points with a real limited offence that we’ve put in, they’re coming along,” he said.

In senior AA girls’ action, the Wellington Wildcats had a dominant performance on the road, beating the Highland Raiders 89-17 in Comox.

Ally Keir led the ’Cats with an unusual double-double of 16 points and 10 steals. Sara Simovic had 16 points, as well.

“We were trying to adjust our defence to what their offence was providing us,” said Nicole McRae, coach of the Wildcats. “So we gave a bit of space, but reacted when we needed to, to steal passes but to try not to run up the score too much.”

Also on the road, the Woodlands Eagles senior AA girls beat the Kwalikum Kondors 48-35. Ksenia Malenica and Raechell Sywak were the top scorers for the Eagles.

“We were playing solid basketball, team ball,” said Carl Macdonald, coach of the Eagles. “At the defensive end of the court we were really solid on our rebounding and only allowing one shot.”

GAME ON … The Dover Bay senior AAA girls host a tournament starting Friday (Dec. 16). Dover’s first game is against Isfeld at 11:15 a.m. at the Dover Bay Secondary School gym.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com