Good start for Cowichan T-Birds before tournament gets snowed out

The Cowichan Secondary School Thunderbirds’ Welcome Back Basketball Tournament last week ended up being cancelled.

The Cowichan Secondary School Thunderbirds’ Welcome Back Basketball Tournament last week ended up being cancelled after schools were shuttered due to snow, but not before the T-Birds moved into the second round.

The T-Birds opened the tournament last Thursday with a 69-57 win over Parkland, starting what might have been a good weekend for the host team had the weather not changed.

Theo Aeby led the team with 19 points, while Zach Waddington poured in 17 and Brandon Reymerink added 16, with a gym full of Cowichan Secondary classmates cheering them on.

Veteran Eston Unrau remains sidelined with an ankle sprain, but that trio has worked hard in his absence.

“Theo, Brandon, and Zach have really stepped up to help with the scoring load,” coach Lucky Walia said.

Keenan Menzel added five points, including a three-pointer, and gave the T-Birds a big shot in the arm.

“Keenen’s effort and energy really gave us a boost,” Walia said. “It can be tough to play that daytime game in front of a packed gym, and Parkland has a nice squad — they played us tough.”

The T-Birds are off to a tournament in Oak Bay this weekend. They tipped off against St. Michael’s University School, the top-ranked AA team in B.C., on Thursday afternoon.