Kwalikum hosts Island championships

KSS Kondors are the top seed and have home-court advantage in this week’s Island tournament

The Kwalikum Secondary senior boys basketball team is looking for a berth at the AA provincials starting today as they host the AA Island championship at “The Nest.”

Tipping the tournament off at 2 p.m. against Shawnigan Lake, the Kondors hold the number one seed from the North Island after they captured the title last weekend. After they beat the Ladysmith 49ers, the Kondors took on the Woodlands Eagles in the final.

The Kondors would go on to beat Woodlands 62-54, capturing the North Islands and earning the number one seed.

“It was a good game against Woodlands,” head coach Butch Gayton said. “We started out strong, built up a lead but then we found ourselves close at the half. We were able to stretch the lead back out to about 14 in the third quarter but in the end, we wound up winning it. It was closer than we were hoping but it was nice to see the team come through with the win.”

Grade 12 Jesse Goring came through in the clutch for the Kondors, who were constantly fouled in the later stages of the final against Woodlands, shooting 5-6 from the free-throw line to seal the deal.

Goring had 13 points in the final for the Kondors, while Grade 12 Ryan Becker had 12 points, Grade 12 Shane Craven had 10 points and Grade 11 Lucas Sposato led the charge for the Kondors with 15 points.

“It’s always nice to see the scoring balance out like that,” Gayton said. “To be able to have four guys in double digits on the score sheet is a fantastic thing for us. We came out and played a very un-selfish game and it showed with those four players hitting double digits in scoring in that final game.”

Now the Kondors will try to finish in the top three to make provincials,  likely having to play Lambrick Park (Victoria) team to get there.

“We’ve got Lambrick Park and Barsby also in our pool,” Gayton said. “It’s going to be a tough road to get to the provincials but winning that first game is going to be crucial. We need to come out with a game plan and execute it to really put ourselves in a good position to win.”

Having the home court advantage also helps, Gayton said, as the Kondors will have the luxury of playing out their tournament at home with the chance to advance on their own floor.

“It’s great, having home court advantage,” Gayton said. “We get to play in our gym, with our baskets on our floor. We don’t have to worry about getting a feel for anyone else’s gym, we’ll be ready come tipoff.”

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