Kondors sunk by Armada in hotly-contested junior girls hoops final

Team has a bright future, despite disappointing finish this year

Kordor forward Shania Frampton drives to the hoop against the Armada in Saturday’s tournament final.

Kordor forward Shania Frampton drives to the hoop against the Armada in Saturday’s tournament final.

The Armada may have won the battle, but the war’s not over.

Kwalikum Secondary School played host to the Kondors Jr Girls Invitational over the weekend, and the home team made it to the final where they came up on the short end of a 26-20 defensive duel against their counterparts from Port Alberni.

“It was a battle … it was quite a physical game,” KSS coach Jesse Witte chuckled in agreement, adding, “it was two teams that were playing really good defence. They’ve played each other a few times over the years, so they know each others tendencies.

“We had the shots to win the game, we had lots of rebounds, we just didn’t put the ball in the hoop.”

KSS led 14-13 at the half.

All the players on this year’s team are in Grade 10, and all but two of them were together last year.

The Kondors opened the six-team get-together — it’s the first time in a long time KSS has hosted a Jr. Girls b-ball tourney — Friday with a 39-10 romp over the Highland Raiders. They dumped Mt. Doug 54-20 Saturday morning.

“The first two games we pushed the ball very well, played really well in transition … in the final game — that’s the first time we’ve been in a game that close — we rebounded really well, but offensively we didn’t play very well, we were a bit impatient.

“The thing is they’re one of the teams we’ll have to beat to get to the Island championships, to move on, so we’re going to have to learn to beat them.”

“It’s going to be a busy season,” Witte laughed when asked about all those teams.

The Mid-Island Jr. Girls basketball league is normally seven or eight teams, but Ladysmith has rejoined the fold after a long hiatus and Nanaimo and district has also added some new teams.

“It’s good; lots of kids playing this year,” he said.

Two weeks ago at a tournament in Victoria, KSS went 2-1 with a gutsy loss to the number one team in the province from Oak Bay, then posted decisive wins over DW Poppy from Langley and Mt. Doug.

KSS kickstarted its 11-team Mid-Island league regular season last week with an easy win over Dover Bay’s Grade 9 team.

The K-birds are home Wednesday against Woodlands.