Kondors struggle in tournament

The Kwalikum Secondary senior boys basketball team will face Nanaimo’s Barsby Bulldogs twice this week

6’7” Grade 11 Connor Haywood is earning his way on to the floor with the KSS senior boys basketball team.

It was a rough weekend for the Kwalikum Kondors senior boys basketball team, dropping two of their three games at the Wellington Superball tournament.

The Kondors, who are currently ranked 10th in the province at the AA level, had a tough outing, losing games to the Barsby Bulldogs and Dover Bay Dolphins, both from Nanaimo. KSS managed to pick up a win and finish the tournament on a good note, with a victory over Carihi (Campbell River).

“We had a tough tournament, it all started with that first game for us,” coach Barry Bevilacqua said. “We had a short bench and one of our starters was knocked out of the game with an injury in the third quarter against Barsby. We played hard defensively but we just had a hard time putting the ball in the hoop on offense. It was just one of those games.”

That was the first of three meetings that will take place over the next week between the Kondors and Bulldogs, as the two teams meet again Tuesday in Nanaimo in league action. The Kondors are currently unbeaten in league play.

“We executed well on defense, so that was good,” Bevilacqua said. “I think that the last game at the tournament for us against Carihi really showed that we were able to play the kind of team game that we know we can play. That sort of got away from us over the course of those first two games and seeing it come back was a good sign for the team.”

The senior boys have created a lot of problems for teams with their aggressive defense, causing numerous turnovers leading to points going the other way. Which they hope to continue as they square off against Barsby this weekend at a tournament at G.P Vanier in Courtenay.

“We’re going to see them three times in the span of a week, so it’s going to be a battle,” Bevilacqua said. “When you play a team that much, you see a lot of what they have to offer and I think we know what they’re all about, much like they know what we’re all about. It’s just going to come down to who wants it more.”

Grade 11 Connor Haywood stood out over the weekend, and has been coming in to his own since the holiday break. It’s a positive sign, as the 6’7” player is starting to find his way to the basket a lot easier.

“Connor has been coming around lately and it’s nice to see,” Bevilacqua said. “He’s been a force when it comes to rebounding for us and he’s turning those rebounds into baskets. The way he’s been playing has really made it hard for us to keep him on the bench and that’s a very good problem for us to have.”

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