T-Birds’ defence dominates Alberni

With the goal of allowing 40 or fewer points, the Cowichan Secondary Thunderbirds dominated on defence Tuesday night as they crushed the Alberni District Armada 67-37.

“We had a goal before the game that we were hoping to make it a very strong defensive effort,” head coach Sandeep Heer said. “We wanted to be focused at that end of the floor for 40 minutes. And 95 per cent of the time, at least, we did a very good job. I was very happy with the way we played at that end of the floor.”

The entire team bought into the game plan, according to the coach.

“Everybody was on the same page,” he said.

When they controlled the ball, the TBirds had to learn to deal with defensive patterns that they weren’t used to.

“Surprisingly enough, we haven’t really been pressed that much, and not zoned as much as I thought.”

The T-Birds got off to a slow start, but eventually adjusted and got the ball moving up the floor.

“We still need to work on that because we got bogged down, but it’s good to get exposed to that kind of defence before playoffs,” Heer said.

With a team-best 15 points, Josh Charles led a quartet of Cowichan players to reach double digits. Brayden Aumen added 12, Jordan Frost had 11 and Kain Melchior scored 10.

Over the previous weekend, the TBirds travelled to Surrey to play the Tamanawis Wildcats, who are currently ranked first in the province. Tamanawis sank 15 three-pointers for 45 of their points in an 88-58 win.

“They showed why they’re No. 1,” Heer said. “Their shooting sort of separated them from us.”

The T-Birds weren’t aware of the Wildcats’ prowess from outside the arc, and would have planned their game differently if they had known.

“I don’t think we could have taken every one of their threes away, but if we could have cut it in half, that would have been better,” Heer said. “Take away seven or eight of their threes, and that’s 20 points, and we’re back within about 10.”

The T-Birds will visit Oak Bay this Friday and G.P. Vanier next Tuesday. Their next home game is next Thursday against Dover Bay.