The Cowichan Secondary Thunderbirds split their games in the North Island senior boys AAAA basketball championships last week in the run up to the Island tournament.
The T-Birds lost their first game of the North Island tournament 71-62 to Dover Bay last Wednesday. Cowichan actually led the game most of the way.
“In the end, we had four players foul out, and Matthew Miller was not playing,” head coach Lucky Walia said. “Nonetheless, the guys really came together and played focused and played hard.”
Eston Unrau led the T-Birds with 22 points, while Brandon Reymerink put up 15 and played strong defence against Dover Bay’s best player, and Zach Waddington added 13 points. Jaden Bhopal and Keenen Menzel anchored the defence by switching screens and being in the right place at the right time.
Unrau completed a three-point play in the fourth quarter, then scored the game-winner as the T-Birds edged G.P. Vanier 58-57 on Saturday.
Unrau finished the game with 12 points, tied with Miller for two back of Reymerink’s team-high 14. Miller also had seven defensive rebounds, three steals and two assists, while Waddington was a thorn in Vanier’s side with three steals, one block and six deflections to go with 10 points, 11 rebounds and one assist.
Bhopal put up five rebounds, four steals and three assists. Menzel added six points and held Vanier’s best player to nine-for-24 shooting.
The T-Birds started the Island tournament on Thursday evening at Belmont against the winner of a challenge game between Claremont and Spectrum.