T-Birds hold their own at Oak Bay tournament

The Cowichan Secondary Thunderbirds won once and lost twice at Oak Bay’s senior boys basketball tournament last weekend.

The Cowichan Secondary Thunderbirds won once and lost twice at Oak Bay’s senior boys basketball tournament last weekend, getting back in action after the snow put a stop to the T-Birds’ own Welcome Back tourney a week earlier.

The T-Birds opened the tournament against St. Michael’s University School, and despite an excellent defensive outing, they couldn’t get things going on offence and ended up falling 60-50.

“[SMUS] is a strong team, and we played with a good amount of competitive spirit,” head coach Lucky Walia said. “We were sluggish on offence, which was something we thought might happen with us not playing many games the weekend before. We were active on defence, though, and actually had a four-point lead in the fourth quarter. We had a couple of poor possessions on offence, they hit back-to-back bank shots to beat the shot clock, and we didn’t respond in the end.”

Theo Aeby scored 23 points, nearly half of Cowichan’s output, and Zach Waddington chipped in with nine.

The T-Birds’ next game was against Wellington, the team they would have faced in the semifinal of the Welcome Back Tournament had that event not ended prematurely. Cowichan went up by almost 30 points in the second half, and rolled to a 76-60 victory. Aeby was named Player of the Game.

The T-Birds wrapped things up against Vancouver College, the ninth-ranked AAAA team in B.C. Although Cowichan lost 96-60, only a portion of the game was lopsided.

“That score really represents one tough chunk of the game for us, rather than 40 minutes of being outplayed,” Walia said.

“We played a strong first half with Zach Waddington, David Catacutan and Matthew Miller leading us,” said Walia, whose team trailed just 39-35 just before halftime.

Waddington had 12 of his 19 points in the first half, and Catacutan and Miller each had six in the second quarter. The third quarter was when things fell apart for Cowichan.

“Vancouver College had a good third quarter, we did not play our best during that stretch, and the result was a large deficit to start the fourth quarter,” Walia said.

Before the month ends, the T-Birds will head to the Mainland for the Port Moody Double Blue Classic Tournament on Dec. 28-30.