The Ballenas Whalers senior girls basketball team managed just five points through the first six minutes of Tuesday’s AAA game against visiting John Barsby secondary.
It didn’t take long for them to make up for the lost time.
Trailing 11-5 late in the first quarter, the Whalers embarked on a 26-0 run and rolled to a one-sided, 64-33 win over the visitors from Nanaimo.
“That is not typical,” Ballenas coach Brian Spray said of the sluggish start by the Whalers, who improved to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in league play. “I don’t know what that was all about.”
The Whalers’ rally was fuelled by a series of forced turnovers at the defensive end of the court, which allowed the team to get out into the open court and run.
Standout point guard Mikayla Hoey led the charge, scoring 13 straight points during the decisive run en route to a game-high 25 points.
“It definitely works better when we’re doing fast breaks and running the court more, so the defence doesn’t have as much time to set up,” said Kate Reynolds, a 5-foot-8 Grade 12 guard who added eight points.
Amanda Greenshields, a Grade 11 guard, scored 12 points as eight players shared the scoring.
Emma Canil of Ballenas, right, is carried out of bounds by her momentum after knocking the ball away from a John Barsby opponent during the teams’ senior girls basketball game at Ballenas Tuesday. — Image credit: J.R. Rardon/PQB NEWS
“It was good to see the younger players getting involved and shoot more,” said Spray. “In our first four games, most of the scoring came from two players — Mikayla and Katie (Reynolds). A lot of these kids are playing senior ball for the first time, and it’s a big adjustment from playing junior.”
Another Grade 11, 5-10 forward Samantha Dimter, hauled down a game-high 14 rebounds and added six points as the Whalers controlled the boards and forced 36 turnovers by the Bulldogs.
Reynolds is impressed with how the newer players have worked in with the returning veterans early in the season.
“I thought we were going to do worse than what we’re doing,” she said. “We’re actually working together as a team really well, running our offense and playing good defence.”
Emma Canil added five points, Mackenzie Hudson — a Grade 10 guard — scored four points and Erica Friesen and Taiya McLellan had two points each in the win.
The Ballenas girls return for their next home game Thursday, Dec. 15, when they host Wellington Secondary in another AAA league contest.