With its season off to a slow start with a series of cancellations and rescheduled games, the Ballenas senior boys basketball team will take a 1-1 league record into a busy January.
The coming month, which will include three tournaments and three mid-Island AAA conference games, will start with an appearance Jan. 5-7 in the 62nd annual Totem Tournament at Alberni District Secondary School — the longest-running high school basketball tournament in the province.
The Whalers opened their conference schedule Dec. 13 with a 60-38 loss at Nanaimo District Secondary School, but recovered impressively with a 73-37 romp at home Dec. 19 against John Barsby Secondary of Nanaimo.
The game at NDSS had been scheduled originally at Ballenas, but the schools swapped home dates in the two-game series due to a conflict with the Ballenas band concert the same evening. NDSS will make the return trip to Parksville for the rematch Jan. 31.
The John Barsby game was rescheduled from Dec. 6, when it was to have been played as part of a senior girls-senior boys doubleheader before the boys game was scratched.
The Whalers were also scheduled to appear in the Mark Isfeld Secondary senior boys tournament Dec. 9-10, which was cancelled as the first major snowstorm of the season descended on mid-Vancouver Island.
While the Ballenas boys will have a full slate of games in January, it will be a full month before fans can catch them at home, Jan. 31 against NDSS.
Whalers 73, Bulldogs 37
Liviano Canil scored a game-high 30 points, 26 of them in the first half, as Ballenas raced to leads of 17-10 after one quarter, 38-20 at halftime and 59-30 through three quarters.
Connor Freeman finished with nine points, Kieran Bowles scored eight and Aidan Brot tallied seven as all but one player on the roster reached the scoresheet.
Islanders 60, Whalers 38
The hosts roared out of the gate by outscoring Ballenas 21-2 in the opening quarter, essentially sealing the game’s outcome as the remainder of the scoring was roughly even.
Canil and Freeman scored eight points each in the loss and Noah Elliott added five points for the Whalers.
— NEWS Staff