Dolphins slip T-Birds’ grasp
Cowichan Thunderbirds had the Dover Bay Dolphins on the ropes but let them slip away.
The No. 1-ranked AAA senior boys’ high school basketball team on the island showed why the poll is justified by coming back from a six-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat the T-Birds 74-65 Tuesday night at Cowichan Secondary School.
The T-Birds clung to a 14-13 lead after the first quarter and 31-29 at the half before extending it to 52-46 after three quarters.
But the Dolphins picked up the pace with 28 points in the fourth quarter while the T-Birds floundered, scoring just 13. That turned a tight game into a comfortable Dover Bay victory.
The T-Birds, ranked fifth on the island, had their north island league record fall to 1-2.
The Pitt Meadows Air Show tournament preceded the tournament for the T-Birds.
They went in against the host school and the eventual tournament champions in their first game Thursday and lost 68-44.
“We didn’t have a very good game with them,’’ said Cowichan coach Sandeep Heer.
“We just didn’t compete as hard as we should have.’’
Heer noted his players didn’t rotate on defence very well and it cost them.
Facing Gleneagle Friday, Cowichan had a better game but fell five points short, 75-70.
Cowichan had a slow start in the game and fell behind by 17 points at halftime and the deficit reached 21 early in the second half.
“Then a light switch turned on and the guys wanted to play,’’ said Heer.
Cowichan actually fought all the way back to tie the score 70-70 but couldn’t win it down the stretch.
Finishing up against Belmont, the No. 7 team on the island, Cowichan eked out an 81-79 win, coming back from a 10-point deficit at the half.
“A few of the coaches commented for five or six minutes at a time we looked like one of the better teams in the tournament,’’ said Heer. “Again, we have to play 40 minutes with focus and not take any possessions off.’’