Shawnigan puts crimp in Cowichan’s plans

Irvin Chen of Shawnigan Lake is guarded by David Shen of Brentwood College. Shawnigan won 64-55.  - Andrew Leong
Irvin Chen of Shawnigan Lake is guarded by David Shen of Brentwood College. Shawnigan won 64-55.
— image credit: Andrew Leong

The Cowichan Thunderbirds’ junior boys’ basketball team has done well against tough Lower Mainland competition, but found an equally formidable opponent right here in the valley.

Shawnigan Lake School junior boys pulled off the upset during the Central Island playoffs at Brentwood College last week, beating Cowichan — a provincially top 10-ranked team all season — 40-38 Saturday.

Cowichan held a 38-34 lead with only a minute and a half left, but Shawnigan hit a couple of tough shots and finished the game on a 6-0 run that produced the two-point victory.

“The game was close the entire way,’’ noted Cowichan co-coach Lucky Walia.

Noah Charles put up 17 points and added 14 rebounds for Cowichan in the losing cause. Connor Hayer had 10 points while Humza Khan contributed seven assists and Jamie Friesen collected six points, seven rebounds and three assists.

Brentwood placed third with a win over Gulf Islands.

In the semifinals, Shawnigan Lake defeated Brentwood 64-55 and Cowichan topped Gulf Islands 45-22 on the strength of 12 points and eight rebounds from Hayer.

Shawnigan qualifies for the Island championships at Oak Bay this week. Cowichan will have to apply for one of the at-large berths in the 24-team field for the provincial playdowns that run Feb. 26 to March 1 at the Langley Events Centre.

“There are two at-large berths available,’’ noted Walia.

Those likely won’t be decided until the various zone tournaments are completed.

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