The Ballenas Whalers senior boys basketball squad suffered a narrow 78-76 loss to host Timberline Wolves in their Tier 2 North Island League season opener on Dec. 6.
After trailing 45-36 at the end of the first half, the Whalers battled hard in the the next two quarters and down the stretch cut the gap, but could not convert enough chances to overcome the hosts’ lead.
The Whalers were led by Joseph Delmo, who scored most of his 19 points in the third and fourth quarters to spark the offence. Jurgen Becker and Brayden Jupe each added a dozen points while Carter Brett had 11.
The Whalers are coached by Tim Baier and Dave Robinson. They are in Tier 2 North Island League that includes Kwalikum, Alberni, Dunchan Christian, Highland, Nanaimo Christian, Timberline and Ladysmith.
To continue to sharpen their game, the Whalers took part in the annual Santa Slam Tournament hosted by Mt. Doug in Victoria, Dec. 8 to Dec. 10.
The Whalers played three games and were 1-2 at the end of the tournament. The highlight for the Whalers was beating the host team Mt Doug 68-64.
The tournament was a special one for coach Robinson.
“As soon as I knew I was coaching this year I reached out to Mt Doug for the opportunity to bring the team down to the school and tournament I played 18 years ago on the Mt Doug team,” said Robinson. “I was excited to be back and share that with the boys, including my son Markus, whose one of our grade 11 guards.”
The Whalers will also compete at the annual Totem Tournament in Alberni, Jan. 5 and Jan. 6.