High school basketball season is here.
After missing a year due to COVID-19, the two senior boys teams in District 69, the Ballenas Whalers and Kwalikum Kondors, are excited to be playing ball again.
Both teams are in the Norther Vancouver Island Division with the Whalers playing in the Triple-A league while the Kondors are in the combined Double-A and Single-A league.
The Kondors got off to a solid start to their regular season when they hosted and trounced the visiting Brooks Thunderbirds of Powell River 78-41 on Thursday night, (Dec. 9) at the KSS gym.
Leading the Kondors was Yianni Giakoumakis, who tallied 17 points, with Aiden Campbell netting 14 points and Logan Magel 13 points.
Kondors coach Taylor Wilson said this year’s team consists mainly of young players.
“We’re short and I am the tallest guy in the team,” Wilson quipped. “But we have a lot of skilled players so hopefully that will make up for it.”
Due to COVID-19, Wilson said it was tougher for him to form the team this year as they did not have chance to build one when the league was cancelled last season. The only veteran player is Giakoumakis.
“The junior team that we had two years ago are mostly Grade 11s now,” said Taylor. “Giakoumakis is in Grade 12 now and I am happy to still have him because he is one of my best players. He scored a lot of points for us. I think he will be one of the top players on the Island.”
To give the Kondors bench more depth, Wilson said, he recruited a couple of international students.
“I got them to come out and play,” said Wislon. “I only had seven when I started so now I have a roster of around 1o or 11.”
Wilson has committed the Kondors to several tournaments on the Island.
“We have a pretty busy schedule this year,” said Wilson.
The team consists of Giakoumakis, Magel, Campbell, Myintoo Johdee, Curtis Lou-Poy, Aiden Campbell, Jin Kuwa, Owen Peters, Laurenz Brokamp, Justin Son, Willem Whitehead, Bryce Melmick, Dennis Sisonenko and Luka Devito.
The Kondors will head to the Comox Valley next to take on the Highland Raiders on Tuesday, Dec. 14.
Meanwhile, the Ballenas Whalers are playing in a tough Triple-A North Island league that features teams from Nanaimo, Comox Valley, Campbell River, Port Alberni and Ladysmith.
The Whalers regular season opener did not go well as they lost to the Ladysmith 49ers on the road on Dec. 6.
Top scorer for the Whalers was Brayden Jupe who had 15 points with Ryker Sansbury contributing eight points and Dylan Vigneault six.
The Whalers will play their first home game on Dec. 14 when they host John Barsby Bulldogs at Ballenas gym at 7 p.m.