Clayton Bergstrom led Cowichan with 17 points in a 68-52 loss to NDSS on Dec. 19. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Clayton Bergstrom led Cowichan with 17 points in a 68-52 loss to NDSS on Dec. 19. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Slow start dooms Cow High against NDSS

T-Birds at Belmont tournament this weekend

The Cowichan Secondary Thunderbirds never recovered from a slow start to their final senior boys basketball game before the Christmas break, and ended up losing 68-52 to Nanaimo District Secondary.

The Islanders jumped out to a 25-12 lead in the first quarter of the Dec. 19 match.

“NDSS clogged up the driving lanes and forced us to make shots,” Cow High head coach Casey Parsons said. “Although we’re a team that likes to shoot the ball, and a team that relies on making a number of threes, unfortunately, we couldn’t seem to make anything early in the game. Off of our misses, NDSS did a good job of getting out in transition, and scoring easy buckets.”

The T-Birds didn’t help their cause with their play at the other end of the floor, either.

“On the defensive end, we gave NDSS countless second- and third-chance opportunities,” Parsons noted. “They have a couple of athletic bigs that we couldn’t seem to keep off the glass.”

As the game wound down, Cowichan’s bench players came into the game and performed well.

“In the fourth quarter, we got some really good minutes from our guys coming off the bench,” Parsons said. “They managed to stir things up a bit by getting up in the passing lanes and creating a few on-the-ball turnovers.”

Clayton Bergstrom finished with a team-high 17 points, while Clayton Reymerink added 11, including three three-pointers.

The T-Birds met the Islanders again on Thursday evening in their opening game at the Belmont Invitational in Victoria. That tournament runs until Saturday. Cow High’s annual alumni game is set for Jan. 3 with a 7 p.m. tip-off.