Port Alberni’s senior boys basketball team won their first match of Totem 66 in a game that came down to the final shot.
The match between Kwalikum Secondary School and Alberni District Secondary School was a close one, with both teams exchanging leads throughout the last two quarters. An Alberni foul in the dying seconds of the fourth quarter meant that Kwalikum ended the game with three free throws. All three throws were misses, and the final score was 69-67 in favour of Alberni.
“There was a lot of rust to knock off,” ADSS head coach Craig Brooks laughed after the game.
Port Alberni’s team has been out of the playoffs for two and a half weeks, while the Kwalikum Kondors just played in the Island Championship last weekend. After the announcement that the annual Totem tournament would be rescheduled, Brooks was able to pull together a weeks’ worth of practices for his team.
“[Kwalikum] is a very good team,” said Brooks. “Our guys responded at all the right times.”
He said Evan McLeod and Davin Ralla had strong defensive games, while Blake Knoll was named player of the game for Port Alberni.
“[Knoll] came up big for us in the back half of the fourth quarter,” said Brooks. “The other guys were able to feed off that energy.”
Port Alberni also had the energy of the crowd behind them, as the gymnasium was finally filled with spectators once again.
Next up, the ADSS boys will face Edward Milne on Friday at 7:30 p.m., followed by a game against Carihi on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
The ADSS senior girls also opened the tournament with a win, picking up a 62-39 victory against Kwalikum. Natalie Clappis was named the player of the game for Port Alberni, while Brooklyn Urquhart was player of the game for Kwalikum.
The girls will face Belmont on Friday at 5:30 p.m. and then PCS on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.