Jr. T-Birds third at Oak Bay tourney

Just before Christmas, Cowichan Secondary School’s junior boys basketball team headed into the holidays with a bronzemedal finish at the Oak Bay tournament.

The Thunderbirds topped Surrey’s Fleetwood Park 47-42 in the third-place game, led by Player of the Game Connor Hayer, who poured in 16 points, and Noah Charles, who added 15. Also in double digits was Humza Khan, who scored 10.

Cowichan started the tournament with a 56-33 crushing of Belmont Secondary in the quarterfinals. Khan was named Player of the Game for his 19-point performance, while Charles contributed 13.

The T-Birds only loss came in the semifinals, where they fell 45-22 to Vancouver College. Andy Derocher was Cowichan’s top scorer with six points.

The eventual tournament champions, Vancouver College went on a 14-0 run late in the second quarter and early in the third to pull far ahead. The good news for Cowichan is that they have another chance to face Vancouver College in the near future, when the Fighting Irish visit Duncan for an exhibition game on Jan. 18.

“We’ll continue to work, and see where we’re at when we have the opportunity to play them again,” said T-Birds head coach Lucky Walia.