The Kwalikum Kondors senior boys basketball team had a successful weekend at the Mark Isfeld (Comox) Invitational Tournament, capturing first place after beating John Barsby (Nanaimo).
It was the second weekend in a row the Kondors had a good showing at a tournament, last week finishing in second place at the Parkland (Victoria) tournament. The Kondors defeated the Barsby Bulldogs by a score of 56-52.
“We had a great tournament, we played real well,” head coach Butch Gayton said after the successful weekend.
“We came out strong against Ladysmith and things just continued to improve from there. We played a tough Isfeld team, they gave us some trouble but we got past them and managed to beat a very athletic Barsby team to win the tournament.”
Grade 11 Rab Hunter sealed the deal for the Kondors late in the final against Barsby, hitting a pair of clutch free throws to put the game out of reach.
Playing without three of their starters in the finale, Shane Craven, Wylder Carson-Austin and Jesse Goring, the Kondors bench stepped up and filled the void, showing the depth that KSS has coming off the bench.
“Our guys coming off the bench had a great weekend,” Gayton said. “We had three of our starters away, so to have three key pieces missing could have been a bad thing for us.”
“Thankfully our boys came to play and stepped up to show that they can handle that situation when called upon.”
Grade 12 Ryan Becker had a solid tournament from start to finish, improving each game and showcasing his skills in the final against Barsby.
Becker’s steal to turnover ratio was 3-1, as he finished the game with six steals compared to only two turnovers. Becker also pitched in with 15 points to boot.
“Ryan played his best game as a Kondor, hands down,” Gayton said. “Not only did he play well on offense for us but he held their leading scorer down and took him off his game. He was able to really control the flow of the game, slowed it down when we needed to slow it down and really took things over.”
Grade 11 Lucas Sposato had the tournament high 30 points in the game against Isfeld, his highest scoring game this season. Sposato would go on to score 18 points against Barsby in the final.
The Kondors also had two highlight reel plays during their first game of the tournament, a 98-49 win over Ladysmith, as both Wylder Carson-Austin and Connor Haywood each picked off a pass at center and took it the other way for two huge dunks.
“Lucas had a great game, real great game,” Gayton said. “I haven’t seen a kid score that many points in a game in a few years.”
“Connor also had a good tournament; he controlled the boards, gobbling up a lot of rebounds in the tournament. He stepped up and had a great game when filling in without Wylder in the lineup as well for us.”