Michael Briones photoKwalikum Kondors player Matt O’Reilly goes up high for a layup against the Nanaimo Christian Trail Blazers.

Kwalikum Kondors soar over Trail Blazers in high school hoops action

Whalers fade late in the game to suffer first loss of the season

The Kwalikum Kondors senior boys opened their high school basketball season with a 63-58 win against Nanaimo Christian Trail Blazers at home on Tuesday night.

The game was close from beginning to end. The Kondors fought off a Trail Blazer comeback to secure their first win in the AA North Island Basketball League.

“It was a good game overall,” said head coach Taylor Wilson. “There was lots to learn. A lot of positives. It’s good to get the first game under our belt.”

Leading the Kondors were Nolan Lewis and Logan Ward, each tallying 15 points. Furkan Elcin contributed 11 points.

“I was very happy in the second half when we started to run more which is going to be a big part of our offence this season considering our lack of size,” said Wilson. “We do have a good amount of speed at the guard position.”

The Kondors will return to action tonight. They will host Timberline Secondary Wolves at KSS gym at 7 p.m.

Wildcats sink Whalers

Ballenas Whalers senior boys played hard but faltered late in the game to end up with a 45-37 loss to the Wellington Wildcats in their AAA North Island Basketball League season opener on Tuesday night in front of home fans.

The Whalers led in the first three quarters but in the last five minutes they struggled to make a basket.

Head coach Dave Stockton said the Wildcats picked up their defence late and made it tough for the Whalers.

“That killed us plus we got into foul trouble ,which was never good,” said Stockton. “It was their first game. They’ve only played three games together so we’re looking okay.”

The Whalers led 18-14 at the half and at the end of the third were still up 31-29. In the fourth, Wellington were able to capitalize on the Whalers turnovers as well as break the Whalers 2-3 zone defence, rotating the ball to find the open man outside the arc.

Stockton said there were lots of good things the Whalers did in the game that will help them as they go deep into the season.

“They were aggressive,” said Stockton. “The negative to that is when they’re over aggressive they commit fouls but if we can dial that in that’s a great process. Rebounding was really good. They have to work a little bit more on their shots.”

Demar Hohnstein had 10 points to spark the Whalers with Jarius Abad and Jacob Stockton each scoring seven.

The Whalers will have time to work on their game as they return to the court on Dec. 18 to take on G.P. Vanier in Courtenay.

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