The Kwalikum Kondors stood their ground last week against the Barsby Bulldogs in a rough game that saw the Kondors hang on for a 66-52 victory and their second straight league title.
It was a fast start for the Kondors at home last Thursday as they built up a 15-4 lead early in the first quarter against the Nanaimo Bulldogs. A rough second quarter saw the Bulldogs close the gap but the Kondors would go on a few scoring runs at various points in the second half to build their lead back up and shut the door on any hopes Barsby had of coming back.
For the second straight season, the Kondors will head in to the North Island Championships as the number one seed.
“Ultimately, we’d like to win the North Islands,” head coach Butch Gayton said. “If we can win the North Islands, that puts us in the best possible situation for when it comes to the Islands. If you finish in second, third or fourth, you’ll have to do some special things to beat some of those teams from down south. So we’ll try and set ourselves up for the best possible outcome.”
Kondors’ big men Lucas Sposato, Connor Haywood and Wylder Carson-Austin all had good games in the paint for KSS and dominated the Bulldogs down low. Haywood led the way, dropping 19 points while Sposato had 12 points and Carson-Austin pitched in with 10 points of his own.
“It’s been great to see the big guys getting involved like that,” Gayton said. “You take a look at the score sheet after a game like that and realize how nice it is to know that our guards are finding the big guys and allowing them to contribute more and more within the offense. It speaks volumes to running our offense and looking for the best option when we’re out there on the floor.”
Now the Kondors will look to make their mark on the North Island tournament before they will host the Island tournament (Feb. 26–28) at KSS. Whether it’s a fast paced game, or it’s slowed right down, even if it gets a little physical, Gayton knows his Kondors are up for any challenge and have shown they can play in just about any situation thrown at them.
“Going back to the alumni tournament, we played against a lot stronger men, not high school boys,” Gayton said. “That really showed us that it’s alright to play a physical game at times and this last game against Barsby really showed that when things start getting physical out there, we can answer that challenge. It’s good to have that option to play a physical game that we can implement along with our fast paced team game we can play as well. It’s something that could cause a lot of problems for opposing teams.”
• The KSS Grade 10 girls’ team finished second in the North Islands and will be heading to their Island championship tournament this upcoming weekend.