T-Birds off to Islands as top seed

The Cowichan Secondary Thunderbirds will head to the Island AAAA senior boys basketball tournament as one of the top seeds.

The Cowichan Secondary Thunderbirds will head to the Island AAAA senior boys basketball tournament as one of the top seeds after sweeping through the North Island tournament last weekend.

The T-Birds, who hosted the North Island tournament, started out with a 57-49 win over Dover Bay. The game was tied at 49-49 in the late going before Zach Waddington nailed a three-pointer to put Cowichan ahead for good. Eston Unrau added another three soon after.

Humza Khan finished with a team-high 15 points, while Noah Charles added 14.

“A number of guys contributed in various ways, chipping in with baskets, grabbing rebounds, and keeping the ball moving on offence,” head coach Lucky Walia said. “That said, Zach Waddington and Matthew Miller did some great work defending Dover Bay’s guards. Their guards are good offensive players, who receive a lot of screens on, and off the ball. It takes resilience to keep working through those screens to make shooters uncomfortable.”

On Saturday, the T-Birds clinched the tournament title with a 76-56 win over G.P. Vanier. Charles put up 27 points and boosted the offence with several nice passes. Unrau added 13 points and Andy Derocher had 10.

“Andy picked up some fouls, but he did a really nice job of competing, and making Vanier’s big guy work for his shots and to get to his favourite spots on the floor,” Walia said.

As the top seed from the North Island, the T-Birds have a bye to the semifinal at the Island tournament this weekend. Cowichan will play the winner of the game between Vanier and Belmont.