The Ballenas Whalers came in to Kwalikum Secondary looking for a big road win but came up empty on Thursday night as the Kwalikum Kondors beat the Whalers 54–45.
The Whalers were looking to bounce back from a bad loss to Alberni District Secondary School (ADSS) earlier in the week while the Kondors were looking good at 2–0 in league play. Both teams were hoping to take home bragging rights in the rivalry game.
Fans from both schools came out to show their support as it was a close game up until the third quarter and that’s when the Kondors pulled away for good.
Evan Stefanek led the way for the Kondors with 16 points. Ryan Becker and Jesse Goring, both in Grade 11, pitched in with 11 points each.
Leading the charge for the Whalers on this night were Tomos Roberts with nine points, Ian Whibley and Scott Childs each with seven points.
The lead changed hands multiple times in the first quarter and was a trend that continued in the second quarter as well. Numerous turnovers by both teams allowed each of them to stay close and remained that way until it neared the end of the second, which saw the Kondors, led by Stefanek and Goring with six points each in the second quarter, build a bit of a lead heading into the half.
“We had a lot of turnovers and guys weren’t following their assignments on the floor. It was a little frustrating but luckily for us both sides were turning it over frequently to each other,” head coach Butch Gayton had to say of his Kondors at the half.
With the score 30–25 in favor of KSS at the start of the third quarter, the Kondors kicked it into gear and managed to create some turnovers with a relentless defence as they went on a nine point run.
The Kondors held the Whalers scoreless for the first half of the third quarter and carried a 13-point lead heading into the fourth.
Ballenas was sparked by Ian Whibley in the fourth frame, as he tallied five points to try to bring his team back within striking distance, but the lead proved to be too much for the Whalers as KSS maintained their cushion after that stellar third quarter and ended up closing it out 54–45.
“The boys are putting in a huge amount of effort working on the fundamentals at practice, but it is hard to win games when your turnover count is higher than your free-throw percentage,” Ballenas head coach Chris Wright said.
The Kondors are at home today against ADSS. Ballenas is coming off two tough losses last week and will look to get back on the right track coming out of the Christmas break.