Filippo Airoldi sends a bounce pass to Joaquin Andrade during the Cowichan Thunderbirds’ game against Dover Bay last Friday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Filippo Airoldi sends a bounce pass to Joaquin Andrade during the Cowichan Thunderbirds’ game against Dover Bay last Friday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

T-Birds finish fourth at Welcome Back basketball tournament

Cowichan beats Spectrum, edged by Dover Bay, ‘not engaged’ against NDSS

With two wins and one loss, the Cowichan Secondary Thunderbirds senior boys basketball team finished fourth at their own Welcome Back Tournament this past weekend.

The T-Birds got things going with a 74-54 victory over Spectrum on Thursday to advance to the final four.

Against Dover Bay in the second round on Friday, Cowichan played a solid game but ended up on the wrong side of a 67-63 final score.

The teams were tied at 32-32 after two quarters.

“In the first half we knocked down some threes, and did a good job of securing rebounds and not allowing Dover Bay second-chance opportunities on the glass,” Cowichan head coach Casey Parsons said.

“In the third quarter, we continued to get after it defensively, creating several turnovers in the half court,” Parsons recalled.

Costly turnovers by the T-Birds late in the game allowed Dover Bay to pull ahead and win by four.

Clayton Bergstrom led the way offensively, getting to the basket and creating quality scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates. Bergstrom and Joaquin Andrade both finished with 21 points, while Clayton Reymerink added 10.

Cowichan faced Nanaimo District Secondary in the third-place game on Saturday, but didn’t bring the same effort they had against Dover Bay and lost 63-48.

“To put it very politely, we were not engaged at all,” Parsons said. “Although we got back to playing our style in the second half, the hole that we had dug ourselves was too deep to climb out of.”

The T-Birds will play their first league game of the season next Wednesday against NDSS, tipping off at 7 p.m.