Kwalikum Secondary School guard Keito Akiyama (6) looks to pass the ball as Nanaimo Christian’s Jonathon Gillespie defends Tuesday at KSS.

VIDEO: Kondors sprint into new basketball season

Kwalikum senior boys race to 72-27 win over Nanaimo Christian in preseason exhibition

The Kwalikum Secondary School senior boys basketball struggled to find its way out of first gear in the early stages of Tuesday’s season-opening exhibition against visiting Nanaimo Christian School. But once the Kondors hit top speed, they fired on all cylinders while racing to a 72-27 victory over the Trail Blazers.

Kevin Sudyko scored 14 points and Drey Dixon added 13 in a balanced scoring effort as the swarming KSS defence forced 37 turnovers and turned the second half into a one-sided drag race against the young NCS squad.

“That’s what we tell the guys, that we want to take their legs out in the second half,” Kwalikum coach Dave Frampton said. “And I think their legs went a little bit.”

The Kondors led just 8-5 after one period and were clinging to a 22-18 lead in the final minute of the first half. But Keito Akiyama hit a three-point shot 31 seconds before the half and Dixon followed a steal with another three with seven seconds to go to stake the Kondors to a 28-18 bulge at the break.

That momentum never slowed in a decisive third quarter, in which KSS outscored the visitors 21-1 while collecting 10 of their 21 steals for the game.

From the late second quarter to the first minute of the fourth, the Kondors outscored NCS 29-1 in a span of 12 minutes of play.

“Our defence triggers all our offence, because we get out and run,” said Dixon, a Grade 12 guard. “Because we’re small. We want to pressure on defence, and run them out.”

Frampton promised before the season began that his undersized team, which employs a four-guard offence, would run a lot this season — “We have to,” he said.

But despite setting the tone early by forcing 11 first-quarter turnovers, the Kondors struggled to turn that into production at the offensive end. The low-scoring opening period was marked by the Trail Blazers commanding the boards on missed KSS shots, countered by the Kondors preventing NCS from setting up an attack.

“There was a real lid on the hoop in the first half,” said Frampton. “Then we started making some shots and started being more patient with the ball. We want to run, but make better decisions on the run. We were forcing a lot of shots in the first half.

“I think in the second half what went right is the nerves went away.”

At the same time, the young Trail Blazers were succumbing to the nerves generated by the trapping, pressing defence of the Kondors.

Ben Sijpheer, a 6-foot Grade 12 guard, scored a team-high 14 points and collected six rebounds, but his father, NCS coach James Sijpheer, said his squad just didn’t have the experience to deal with the Kondors in the pre-season opener.

“We’re a really young team,” James Sijpheer said. “We’ve got a lot of Grade 10s, so for the bulk of this team it’s their first time playing at the senior level. I think they kept pace in the first quarter, then that Grade 12 to Grade 10 mentality and hustle and intensity that comes with experience and age definitely took over for Kwalikum.”

Sudyko, a Grade 12 guard, shared team-high honours with seven rebounds (matching teammate Brennan Volk) and a team-high five steals. Anthony Crowther and Akiyama each scored eight points and Arne Olefs and Volks scored six each as 11 of the 12 Kondors players reached the scoresheet.

Alex Bloedern, a 6-5 post, hauled down a game-high 12 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, but the visitors’ early rebound advantage was wiped out in the one-sided second half, and KSS finished with a 48-41 rebounding advantage.

Kwalikum’s senior boys will play this weekend in the Highland Secondary tournament in Courtenay, then return home to kick off the regular season with a 7 p.m. game Tuesday against Ladysmith.

Above: Kwalikum Secondary School guard Kevin Sudyko (10) takes the low road on a baseline drive past Nanaimo Christian’s Alex Bloedern during senior boys baskeball action Tuesday at KSS. — Image credit: J.R. Rardon/PQB NEWS

Just Posted

Parksville council supports applications for four new non-medical retail cannabis shops

Business licences won’t be issued without provincial government approval

Parksville council members vote themselves a hike in pay

Mayor goes from $40.9K to $52.5K and councillors from $16.9K to $30K

Multi-use village green space proposed for Qualicum Beach

Early development plans see a gathering space at the old bus garage site

UPDATE: City of Parksville buys 222 Corfield site

With the purchase, the city will not facilitate cold-weather shelter on property

600 new campsites coming to provincial parks and recreation sites across B.C.

Tourism Minister announced half of the new spots to 13 most popular provincial parks

So, do you know ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’?

Ontario man searching for fellow he travelled with in Europe 50 years ago

Spring rain needed as B.C. sees one of the lowest snowpack levels in 40 years

Snowpack levels in B.C. recorded on May 15 were similar to those in 2015 and 2016

Court to rule on B.C.’s pipeline permit law in crucial case for Trans Mountain

A panel of B.C. Court of Appeal judges has been mulling B.C.’s constitutional reference cas

Theresa May to quit as party leader June 7, sparking race for new PM

The new Conservative leader will become prime minister without the need for a general election

Parksville mom who lost son to brain tumour joins 24th annual walk

Brain Tumour Walk takes place at the University of Victoria on Sunday, May 26

B.C. man who fell off cliff returns there to rescue eagle from vulture attack

Nanaimo’s James Farkas, who broke his hip in a fall, saves eagle on same beach months later

Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 to move within 1 game of NBA Finals

Leonard scores 35 as Toronto takes 3-2 series lead over Milwaukee

B.C. Supreme Court dismisses review around ferry workers’ right to strike

B.C. Ferry and Marine Workers’ Union collective agreement expires November 2020

Most Read