Kwalikum hoops teams off to strong starts in 2012
Kwalikum Secondary School’s Junior Girls basketball team has been on a tear since returning to the court from Christmas break, and head into this weekend winners of five of six so far in 2012.
The young K-Birds thumped the 49ers in Ladysmith Jan. 4 in their first game back, and last weekend they played tough and went 2-1 in Victoria at the Jr. Girls Island Challenge.
According to Kondors’ teacher/coach Jesse Witte, the locals opened with a hard-fought loss to the provincially ranked Cleremont Spartans.
“We were tied 16-16 at half time and went on to lose 38-29,” said Witte. “A very entertaining game — probably our best half of the year so far.”
Kwalikum bounced back with a big 36-22 win over the Wellington Wildcats, and closed it out with a thrilling 34-32 win over their rivals from down the road, Ballenas Secondary School in Parksville.
“We hung on, just barely,” chuckled Witte, then made the point, “the Wellington game was a really physical game, and then to have to (return to the court) shortly after to play Ballenas and to battle the way we did ... we showed a lot of grit.”
The Kondor girls picked up where they left off this week posting a pair of wins — on Monday they beat the short-benched Nanaimo District Secondary School Islanders 38-17, and on Wednesday they beat Ballenas in another nail-biter, 42-38 — a battle for top spot in the 11-team Mid-Island league.
The two wins ups the K-Birds’ regular season record to 5-0 and alone in first place for now with five games remaining.
“We win because we have a team full of dedicated kids that know their role on the team,” said coach Witte.
The Jr. Girls are in Courtenay this weekend for a tournament at Mark Isfeld Secondary, and return home to ‘the Nest Wed., Jan. 18 for a 5 p.m. tipoff against the Dolphins from Dover Bay.
Kwalikum’s Jr. Boys team, who lost to BSS by one point (39-38) on Wednesday and are sitting middle of the pack in their league, play immediately after.
IN OTHER NEWS
Dave Frampton’s AA Senior Boys team battled the Spartans in Cedar to a big 77-69 win on Tuesday. The Kondors are in Courtenay this weekend for the 43rd Annual, 12-team Towhee Invitational Tournament.
They are back in action at KSS on Tuesday, Nov. 17 for a legauer against the Wellington Wildcats.
“We played very well — probably our most complete performance of the year,” Frampton said of this week’s win, adding Grade 11 Nick Wassbauer led the locals with a season-high 25 points, “20 of which came in the second half.”
The Kondors are now 1-2 in league play (6-5 overall) with three games remaining against teams in the bottom half of the standings — which should set them up for a nice seeding heading into the North Islands.