The Kwalikum Kondors senior girls basketball team took home a first place finish, with a short bench, at the Duncan Christian School Welcome Back tournament.
With just six players dressed for the first game and seven for the next two, the Kondors found a way to earn three wins on their way to first place in Duncan.
“It was quite something,” head coach Butch Gayton said. “This was a tournament we sort of took at the last second and we knew we’d be shorthanded thanks to prior commitments. We had a few girls that were out sick, so our small team became even smaller just in time for our first game of the tournament.”
There was plenty of playing time to go around for the Kondors as they entered their first game against Brentwood College. Jenna Milne led the way for the Kondors in this one, putting up 17 points in the 57-42 Kondors win.
Maya Gayton and Sydney Holland each added 14 points.
“That first game was interesting,” Gayton said. “We’d have one player come on the floor and then everyone would change positions and fill in accordingly.”
“It was just one of those games where everyone got to try out something new and it was more fun than anything for the girls. Some of them got to play down in the post, while others who don’t normally get to play guard got lots of time in there as well. It was great to see them have such a good time with it, definitely made it a lot easier with only six players.”
Day two saw a little bit of an improvement for KSS as their bench doubled in size, from having just one substitute to two subs. In their second game, the Kondors took on Cowichan High.
Gabrielle Wratislav took a turn leading the Kondors in scoring for this game, putting up a game-high 14 points in the 35-19 win.
“We needed to find a way to last,” Gayton said. “With our numbers the way they were, we figured that focusing more on playing tough defense would go a long way in helping our cause.”
“We knew we’d be able to put the ball in the hoop but stopping the other team is just as important.”
“We were able to work on quite a few things the rest of the way, which allowed us to play very well defensively.”
The Kondors disposed of Glenlyon Norfolk (Victoria) in the final, after Glenlyon had upset Duncan Christian on their way to the final.
KSS would cruise to a 50-18 victory, outscoring their final two opponents 85–37.
Maya Gayton, who scored 19 points in the final, came away with tournament MVP honours, while Jenna Milne earned a tournament all-star award.
“All in all it was a good weekend,” Gayton said. “Things could have definitely went the other way for us. When you’re shorthanded like that, the odds aren’t really supposed to work for you but somehow we managed to get by.”