The quality of the Ballenas Whalers shots left something to be desired during Tuesday’s senior girls basketball showdown at Kwalikum Secondary School.
But the Whalers made up for it with volume.
Buoyed by a remarkable 74 rebounds — 50 of them at the offensive end — Ballenas rolled to a 69-36 win.
“Because our coaches tell us, we know we’re going to miss a lot of shots because our shot percentage hasn’t been very high,” said Makayla Hoey, a Grade 12 guard who paced the Whalers with 30 points. “So they say just go after the boards every single time; just all of us get in there.”
Fellow Grade 12 Kate Reynolds overcame a particulary frigid shooting start to add 24 points, 17 of them in the second half, and led the rebounding parade with a whopping 22 boards. She was joined in double-figure rebounds by teammates Amanda Greenshields and Samantha Dimter, with 13 each.
Those gaudy numbers overshadowed the efforts of Kwalikum guard Charlotte Palmer, who took advantage of all the balls flying off the rim to haul in 20 rebounds of her own while pacing the Kondors with 15 points.
The young Kondors carry just eight players, all of them in Grade 11 or 10, and were playing just their second game of the season against a Ballenas team that has played in two tournaments — including a fifth-place showing in last weekend’s 16-team Victoria Christmas Tournament.
“We kind of came into it knowing we weren’t going to do very well,” said Palmer. “We just wanted to go into it thinking of the best outcome and trying to play our best against them.”
To that end, KSS coach Barry Belivaqua was satisfied. The Kondors were tied with the Whalers 9-9 with four minutes left in the first quarter before Ballenas broke the game open with a 13-0 run to end the period.
“I’m ecstatic with how they competed,” said Belivaqua. “You look at the Grade 12s on Ballenas, the two leading scorers getting 30 and 24 points. That’s being a Grade 12; that’s what it takes.
“We’re building, we’re hoping to compete this year, and to be a competitor next year.”
Kwalikum played evenly with Ballenas for stretches, but the visitors parlayed their second-chance points and forced turnovers into several more back-breaking runs, including a 12-0 stretch to end the first half and a 14-0 run — all the points coming from Hoey and Reynolds — to start the fourth.
Dimter contributed six points for Ballenas in the win.
Sereena Dewal scored five points and Ashley Holland, Ali Proctor and Sequoiah Bevilaqua scored four each for KSS.
Holland contributed 10 rebounds for the Kondors.
Above: Kate Reynolds of Ballenas (22) goes up for a shot over Kwalikum’s Taylor McCabe during their senior girls basketball game at Kwalikum Secondary Tuesday evening. — Image credit: J.R. Rardon/PQB NEWS
Whalers 69, Kondors 36
Ballenas 22 12 16 19—69
Kwalikum 9 6 13 8—36
Ballenas — Mikayla Hoey 30, Reynolds 24, Dimter 6, Canil 3, Greenshields 2, Hudson 2, Mclellan 2, Friesen, Franklin, Haycock. Rebounds — 74 (Reynolds 22). Steals — 19 (Reynolds 5). Blocked shots — 6 (Reynolds 2, Friesen 2). Turnovers — 15.
Kwalikum — Charlotte Palmer 15, Dewal 5, Holland 4, Bevilaqua 4, Proctor 4, Dorsay 2, Haines 2, McCabe. Rebounds — 52 (Palmer 20). Steals — 7 (Palmer 2). Blocked shots — 4 (Proctor 2). Turnovers — 35.