Ballenas Whalers gearing up for Wellington

Parksville senior boys high school basketball team hopes to level off their Jekyll and Hyde season

Ballenas Whaler Andy Reynolds (in white) guards against Lucas Sposato of the Kwalikum Kondors in action earlier this season.

The Ballenas Whalers senior boys basketball team is looking to put it all together tomorrow night against the Wellington Wildcats as the regular season starts to wind down.

It’s been an up-and-down season for the Whalers, who started by winning the Sutherland Sabres tournament in North Vancouver.

Following that, the Whalers were looking strong heading into league play. The remainder of the season has been something of a Jekyll and Hyde for the Whalers, the team playing great basketball one game, then not looking like themselves the next.

Consistency has been an issue for the Whalers, who possess all the tools to be a tough team to beat, it’s just a matter of putting it all together and playing the way they know they are capable of playing.

“It’s been interesting,” head coach Kevin McMillen said. “We’ve been good for the majority of the season, it’s not like we’ve been terrible but we’ve just had problems with our consistency as a team.”

“Couple that with injuries, it’s tough for a team to really play the way they are capable of playing.”

“These guys have the talent to do some incredible things, they can play great team basketball when they want to and they can take over a game anytime they feel like it,” McMillen said.

“It’s just a matter of making it happen and wanting to see it happen, which is often the problem we run into as a team.”

With the game against Wellington, Friday night in Nanaimo, the Whalers have a chance to improve upon their standing in league play.

The Whalers were in Mill Bay this past weekend for the Road to the Playoffs tournament. With the stiff competition across the Island this year on every level, the Whalers found themselves on the losing end of their first two games of the tournament.

They did manage to pull out a close, one-point victory over the Kwalikum Kondors, who also found themselves on the losing end of their first two games.

“Needless to say, we need a bounce-back game,” McMillen said.

“We managed to squeak out a win over KSS by one, but the rest of the games we played weren’t that great for us.”

“Coming out of that tournament, we’ve had the week here to practice up and really prepare for that Friday night game against Wellington,” said McMillen.

“It’s a big game for us and I’m hoping these boys come ready to play.”

If they wish to have success against the Wildcats, the Whalers will rely on their regulars to contribute but will also look to some of their role players to continue their recent fine play.

“We know what we have with Liviano and Aaron,” McMillen said. “It’s our role guys that have been coming along all season and they’re starting to bring it at the right time.”

“Andy Reynolds had an amazing weekend for us at the tournament in Mill Bay, he’s been improving every time he steps on the floor and that’s really impressed me.”

“I’m hoping to see more of that from him on Friday, as well as the other guys we’re going to need to step up and do the same.”

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