The Ballenas Whalers senior boys basketball team are off to an 0-2 start in their 3A North Island League. But each game has been a learning experience.
The Whalers have athleticism and size but lack experience. They have two new coaches, Tim Baier and Amanda Girgan.
“We have a bunch of players that haven’t played together,” said Baier. “We also had some injuries early in the season and are missing some key players. And we have two coaches who haven’t met each other prior to the season beginning.”
The Whalers played their first home game against John Barsby Bulldogs and lost 79-41 in front of home fans at Ballenas gym on Dec. 14.
“In previous games, we played against teams that are much bigger and more skilled and we made those baskets,” said Baier. “We made hard buckets. I guess we just have make sure we put a little extra effort as coaches to ensure that they improve on their shooting. They made some great plays. They’re good kids and they work hard. It’s really frustrating when they can’t put it all the way through and I know they’re feeling it right now.”
The Whalers will regroup in the new year and will start off by getting some playing experience when they head to Port Alberni to play in the 66th annual Totem tourney, hosted by Alberni District Secondary School from Jan. 6-8.
Kondors top league with 2-0 record
The Kwalikum Kondors senior boys basketball team continue to soar in the combined 2A/1A North Island League.
The Kondors are now 2-0 in league play after they routed the only other 2A school in the league, Highland Raiders 75-43 on Dec. 14.
“Both teams are in a rebuilding phase as a number of years of being very competitive,” said Taylor. “We only had seven guys, two of which we had to pull up from the junior team, but we handled them without too much difficulty.”
The Kondors were led by Yianni Giakoumakis, who scored a game-high 33 points with Logan Magel contributing 22 points and Bryce Melnick 15.
“Our boys executed well, which we often do when we are confident going into a game,” said Taylor. “The trick is to bring that same confidence and focus in games we know will be tough. Our test will be in the playoffs against Lambrick Park and Brentwood, as they are two of the top five teams in the province.”