The Kwalikum Secondary Kondors came out flying for their home opener as the senior boys basketball team took on the Ladysmith 49ers Tuesday night.
Jesse Goring, Grade 12, led the way in scoring for the Kondors with 19 points as they cruised to a 78-49 win over the 49ers. Ryan Becker, Grade 12, chipped in with 18 points while Lucas Sposato, Grade 11, had 16 points to boot.
“I thought we played a lot of good, high tempo basketball,” head coach Butch Gayton said. “We were aggressive on defense and created a lot of turnovers. That can be demoralizing to a team, especially one like Ladysmith that didn’t quite have the amount of players on the bench I think they would have liked.”
Holding a 39-24 lead at the half, the Kondors busted the game open in the second, outscoring the 49ers 39-25 again.
Sposato scored 10 of his 16 points in the game during the second half, leading the way for KSS in the final two quarters.
“We’ve got a couple of kinks to work out,” Gayton said. “I thought we executed well enough tonight and put a lot of good pressure on their team to cause some turnovers to get transition baskets. If we can hammer out the offensive side of things, we should start to see a well rounded game for ourselves.”
Coming off a big come-from-behind win over the AAA Alberni Armada, the Kondors beat the 49ers in their first home game of the season and move to 1–0 in league play on the season.
“I think that we really set the tone early on,” Gayton said. “Our three headed monster of Goring, Becker and Shane Craven, those three guys can really cause a lot of problems for other teams with their speed and quick hands on defense.”
“They created the majority of turnovers on defense and turned them in to fast break layups for us.”
That trio of guards will be the focal point of a quick and aggressive KSS defense this season. The Kondors have a bit of size in the paint with Grade 11’s Sposato and Connor Haywood, to go along with Grade 12 Wylder Carson-Austin.
“We aren’t going to be the biggest team on the floor every game,” Gayton said. “We’ve got some big guys but our bread and butter is with our quickness.”
“Our big guys can get up and down the floor too, so when we create scoring chances off defensive turnovers, we put ourselves in an excellent position to win games.”
The senior boys will now travel to Courtenay this weekend for a tournament at Mark Isfeld Secondary, where they will take on the Ladysmith 49ers once again in their opening game of the tournament.
“We’re starting to pass the ball more as a team,” Gayton said.
“Our guards are starting to see the floor better on offense and even our big men are getting in there, passing the ball well within the offense. We’re making good strides and it’s early in the season, so that’s always nice to see. As the season goes along, we’re hoping to keep getting better each week.”