VIDEO: Local teams embrace Totem hoop tournament

Ballenas guard Aidan Brot, right, is slowed on a drive to the hoop in the Whalers’ 65-64 win over host Alberni District Secondary School in the Totem basketball tournament in Port Alberni Thursday. - J.R. Rardon photo
Ballenas guard Aidan Brot, right, is slowed on a drive to the hoop in the Whalers’ 65-64 win over host Alberni District Secondary School in the Totem basketball tournament in Port Alberni Thursday.
— image credit: J.R. Rardon photo

Ballenas Secondary School standout Liviano Canil drew the biggest roar of the night in the opening round of the 62nd Totem basketball tournament at Alberni District Secondary School — and he did it by fouling out.

Canil scored a game-high 33 points in the first 33 minutes against the host Armada, earning Public Enemy No. 1 status in a gym filled with a large and boisterous hometown crowd. When he picked up his fifth foul and was sent from the game with more than seven minutes to play, the cheers came from both the bleachers and the ADSS bench.

“I like it,” Canil said after his teammates picked up the slack in his absence and quieted the crowd with a 65-64 victory over the host Armada in Thursday’s feature game. “I love the atmosphere at Totem; it’s my favourite tournament of the year. It’s the biggest crowd we play for all year.”

The tournament seemed to agree with all three local teams entered this year.

The Ballenas girls team swept to the championship with a 65-57 win over Spectrum Community School of Saanich, and Grade 12 guard Makayla Hoey was named girls MVP of the tournament.

The Ballenas boys stumbled in a semifinal loss to rival Mark Isfeld of Comox Friday — in a rematch of last year’s tournament title game — but rallied for an 86-48 romp over Edward Milne Secondary of Sooke in the third-place final Saturday. Canil was named to the tourney All-Star team, the only player selected who did not appear in the championship final between Isfeld and eventual champion Guildford Park of Surrey.

Kwalikum's Charlotte Palmer (4) fires a pass to teammate Ashley Holland between Alberni defenders McKenzie Matthews (23) and Mya Smith during the teams' opening-round game in the 62nd Totem basketball tournament in Port Alberni Thursday. — Image credit: J.R. Rardon/PQB NEWS

And the young Kwalikum girls team, which had just eight players — none in Grade 12 ­— and had played just three games entering Totem, finished 2-1 and placed fourth with a 54-44 victory over Edward Milne.

Charlotte Palmer represented the Kondors on the girls All-Star team, where she was joined by Ballenas guard Kate Reynolds.

“I’m ecstatic,” Kwalikum girls coach Barry Belivaqua said. “No way did I think we were going to come in here and finish fourth in a AAA tournament. We just want to keep improving, and we got a lot of experience here. I couldn’t be prouder of the girls.”

Like the Ballenas boys on Thursday, both the Kwalikum and Ballenas girls team got a chance to play the host school in the feature night game — the one that draws the big crowds, dance and cheerleading teams, Shaw TV cameras and game announcer.

It even features “The best seat in the house,” a pair of leather loveseats at courtside which are raffled off each half to a pair of lucky ticket-holders.

Kwalikum played the hosts on Thursday’s opening night, and Ballenas faced ADSS in Friday’s semifinals.

“It’s such a big deal here,” said Palmer. “I’ve never played in a tournament this big. It was really crazy. I’ve never been in a gym with that many people watching, and all the cheerleaders, and the announcers.”

The tournament is part school event, part homecoming and part community celebration and draws fans of all ages from the area.

“There’s really is nothing else like it in Canada, that I’ve experienced,” Ballenas boys coach Taylor Wilson said. “I played university basketball and we never had crowds like this. This is as close as you get to an American-style basketball crowd, and for a high school team it’s amazing.

It’s really why we keep coming back, because the atmosphere is so electric.”

Kwalikum’s Belivaqua agreed.

“It’s the longest-running tournament in the province for a reason,” he said. “I don’t know how many times I’ve been in Totem as a coach, and whether it’s guys or girls, they still remember it.”


62nd Totem Tournament

At Port Alberni

Jan. 5-7




Ballenas 65, ADSS 64


Ballenas    17    20    11    17—65

ADSS    12    20    13    19—64


Whalers — Liviano Canil 33, Freeman 8, Matheson 5, Jasinski 4, Kato 4, Bowles 2, Segui 2, Elliott 2, Brot 1, McKee 1, Rodway, Zou.

Armada — Ozzie Felsman 21, Moss 9, Barbosa 8, Wiatr 6, Contant 5, Kaminski 4, Bruton 4, Harding 3, Bell 2, Quensnod-Campbell 2.



Mark Isfeld 67, Ballenas 35


Ballenas    13    9    3    10—35

Isfeld    12    20    19    16—67


Whalers — Liviano Canil 17, McKee 10, Bowles 4, Matheson 4, Rodway, Freeman, Kano, Jasinski, Brot.

Ice — Brett Woods 14, Jordan Mussana 14, Xylinas 12, Benninger 11, Brown 6, Green 3, T. Mtawali 2, M. Mtwali.


3rd-5th place

Ballenas 86, Edward Milne 48


Whalers    19    20    25    22—86

Wolverines    15    5    15    13—48


Whalers — Liviano Canil 21, Matheson 18, Kano 12, Jasinski 11, McKee 8, Freeman 8, Bowles 4, Rodway 3, Brot 2.

Wolverines — Nacho Antonutti 18, Yang 12, Scheubel 10, McKenzie 6, Yakimovich 3, Lowenson 3, Goluch, Gilbertson, McMillan.


Boys MVP: Ben Dutra, Guildford Park

All-star team: Liviano Canil, Ballenas; Brett Woods, Isfeld; Logan Benninger, Isfeld, Faris Taufiq, Guildford Park; Chris Braithwaite, Guildford Park.

Boys standings

1. Guildford Park

2. Mark Isfeld

3. Ballenas

4. Reynolds

5. Ed. Milne

6. Stellys

7. Alberni District

8. Esquimalt




ADSS 62, Kwalikum 43


Kwalikum    10    11    11    11—43

ADSS    11    16    22    13—62


Kondors — Charlotte Palmer 19, Katie Haines 8, Ashley Holland 8, Serena Dewal 3, Taylor McCabe 3, Ali Proctor 2, Avery Dorsay, Sequoia Bevilacqua.

Armada — Mariah Netzer 18, Briana Anderson 11, Mya Smith 7, Laurel Davidson 4, Julia Davenport 4, Jenna West 4, McKenzie Matthews 4, Pharyn Frank 2, Kylie Scott 2, Karlie Irg 2, Kathleen Titian 2.


Ballenas 66, Belmont 33


Ballenas    21    15    19    11—66

Belmont    4    12    6    9—33


Whalers — Kate Reynolds 28, Hoey 17, Mclellan 7, Dugas 6, Dimter 6, Canil 2, Haycock, Franklin, Friesen, Hudson.

Bulldogs — Daryana Mielecka 6, Pittroff 5, Whyte 4, Janmohamed 4, Yamamoto 2, Rush 2, Campbell 1, Madison.


Kwalikum 50, Belmont 45


Kwalikum    12    15    13    10—50

Belmont    6    14    16    9—45


Kondors — Charlotte Palmer 26, Proctor 8, Dewal 5, Haines 4, Bevilaqua 4, Holland 3, Dorsay, McCabe.

Bulldogs — Jena Janmohamed 15, Mielecka 12, Yamomoto 8, Pittroff 7, Whyte 2, Madison 1, Campbell, Rush.



Ballenas 51, Alberni 47


Ballenas    13    11    13    14—51

ADSS    12    8    14    13—47


Whalers — Makayla Hoey 25, Reynolds 10, Dimter 8, Mclellan 5, Dugas 3, Canil, Haycock, Hudson.

Armada — Mariah Netzer 12, Anderson 10, Dass 7, Davidson 6, Smith 5, Scott 4, Davenport 3.


4th-6th place

Kwalikum 54, Edward Milne 44


Ed. Milne    6    2    22    14—44

Kwalikum    10    9    15    20—54


Wolverines —Karyl Musflet-Trivino 14, Sudlow 8, Julien 8, Neilsen 4, Wood 2, Haldane 2, Bridal, Lacombe.

Kondors — Charlotte Palmer 26, Proctor 15, Holland 7, McCabe 2, Dewal 2, Haines 1, Dorsay, Belivaqua.



Ballenas 65, Spectrum 57

Ballenas 65, Spectrum 57


Spectrum    22    15    13    7—57

Ballenas    20    18    13    14—65


Spectrum — Emma Brown 25, Gray 19, Shust 7, Hanson 5, Valderama 1, Pitag.

Ballenas — Makayla Hoey 44, Reynolds 16, Mclellan 3, Dimter 2, Canil, Haycock, Dugas, Friesen, Hudson.


Girls MVP: Makayla Hoey, Ballenas.

All-star team: Charlotte Palmer, Kwalikum; Kachina Vilolini, Vanier; Emma Brown, Spectrum; Kate Reynolds, Ballenas; Mariah Netzer, Alberni District.

Girls standings

1. Ballenas

2. Spectrum

3. Alberni District

4. Kwalikum

5. Vanier

6. Ed. Milne

7. Belmont

8. Esquimalt

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