Whalers take first in North Vancouver

The Ballenas Whalers senior boys basketball team started their season off on the right foot this past weekend in North Vancouver.

The Ballenas Whalers senior boys basketball team captured first place at the Sutherland Sabres Holiday Classic in North Vancouver this past weekend

The Ballenas Whalers senior boys basketball team started their season off on the right foot this past weekend in North Vancouver.

Seeing their first action of the season, the Whalers were at the Sutherland Sabres Holiday Classic where they came away with first place.

In the final, the Whalers beat a tough McMath (Richmond) 63-59. The McMath Wildcats were in the number 10 spot in the AAA pre-season rankings, while the Whalers weren’t even on the radar to start the season.

“That was a big win,” coach Kevin McMillen said. “McMath was a tough team but we were able to play some great, confident basketball in that final.”

“The boys played to their strengths, slowing the game down when we needed to and made sure that we took care of the ball. To see them playing that level of basketball this early in the season is pretty great,” McMillen said.

“I can’t remember the last time I started off a season 3-0 with a team, so they’re playing in a position that we weren’t expecting right away, but we’ll take it.”

Aaron Paetkau — who averaged close to 20 points a game and hauled in double digits in rebounds each game — took home tournament MVP honours for the Whalers.

Senior Darian Mant, averaging a double-double per game, and Grade 11 standout Liviano Canil also earned tournament all-star honours for their efforts throughout.

“We played such a different style of game than the other teams,” McMillen said. “Those teams we faced ran the floor at full speed and were putting up a lot of threes. We’re a bigger team compared to a lot of schools, so we play at a slower pace.”

“When we tried to run with those teams, we coughed up the ball for turnovers,” McMillen said. “But we were able to get what we wanted, we slowed the pace right down and took care of the ball real well, I was very impressed with how much we shared the ball on the floor.”

Brendan Harstaad led the Whalers in scoring with 19 points in the tournament opener, where they beat McNair (Richmond) by a score of 89-62.

In their second game, the Whalers beat Sir Charles Tupper (Vancouver) 79-36. Tupper was also an honourable mention to start off the season in the AAA rankings.

“You couldn’t ask for a better start to a season,” McMillen said. “Playing these games against some of the bigger schools on the Lower Mainland is always a good test to see where you’re at to start the year off.”

“To come in and play against two teams that are getting the attention they were getting in the pre-season, as far as rankings go, is pretty good for us.”

The Whalers will now shift their attention to their first home game, and league game, of the season tonight (Dec. 8) against the Barsby Bulldogs from Nanaimo.

It will be a busy December for the Whalers, who will also host the Wellington Wildcats and play their cross-town rivalry game against the Kwalikum Kondors on December 17.

Just Posted

Nine animals find fur-ever homes after special Parksville SPCA event

Province-wide half-price adoption deal homes 212 animals

Man, 50, dies following incident in downtown Parksville

Teenage girl hailed as hero for intervening after witnessing situation unfold

BCHL’s Alberni Valley Bulldogs move game to Parksville due to ice rink closure

Prince George and Bulldogs to battle it out Tuesday, Nov. 19 at Oceanside Place

Teen with cancer whose viral video urged Canadians to vote has died, uncle tweets

Maddison Yetman had been looking forward to voting in her first federal election since junior high school

Rowing Canada, UVic investigate celebrated coach for harassment, abuse

Lily Copeland says she felt intimidated and trapped by Williams

Fisherman missing near Lake Cowichan’s Shaw Creek

Family is asking for everyone and anyone to keep their eyes open,… Continue reading

BC VIEWS: Action needed on healthcare workplace violence

While we’ve been talking about it, the number of B.C. victims has only grown

Poole’s Land finale: Tofino’s legendary ‘hippie commune’ being dismantled

Series of land-use fines inspire owner Michael Poole to sell the roughly 20-acre property.

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

Cleanup in the works after tanker truck fire leads to oil spill in B.C.’s Peace region

The province said the majority of the spilled oil likely burned away in the fire.

Most Read