Wellington Wildcats players Kurtis Burns, left, and Maxime Jacquot defend against Ballenas Whalers opponent Noah Elliott during Tuesday’s senior AAA league game at the Wellington Secondary School gym.

Wellington Wildcats players Kurtis Burns, left, and Maxime Jacquot defend against Ballenas Whalers opponent Noah Elliott during Tuesday’s senior AAA league game at the Wellington Secondary School gym.

Wildcats will tip off at Superball tourney

Wellington Secondary School hosts its annual basketball tourney this week (Jan. 12-14), with both senior boys’ and senior girls’ brackets.

It’s time for the Superball tournament, so that means basketball season must be heating up.

Wellington Secondary School hosts its annual basketball tourney this week (Jan. 12-14), with both senior boys’ and senior girls’ brackets.

Superball is important because of its tradition, said Alex Staniforth, Wildcats player. He pointed out that the ’Cats have had success at their tournament in recent years, and said players take pride in protecting home court.

Wellington anticipates reaching Saturday’s final, but some of the best games tend to be the school-day matchups when students fill the stands.

“During the game, we’re all focused and you don’t really hear a lot of it, but after, you see all the people in the hallways and see what they have to say about the game and their comments,” Staniforth said. “It’s a cool feeling. It’s kind of like all-star status after Superball.”

The ’Cats boys could take a starring role. The team had its full lineup on the court for the first time all season on Tuesday night and responded with an easy 80-47 win against the Ballenas Whalers. Staniforth said having all the team’s weapons makes a huge difference.

“It’s like night and day,” he said. “We were getting blown out [earlier this season], some guys were getting upset and it was frustrating, but now that we’re up to full strength and we can practise fully, it’s great.”

He scored 32 points in Tuesday’s win and Brooks Branchi added 25.

Wellington’s girls tip off Superball today against Shawnigan at 3 p.m., with the boys playing at 4:30 p.m. versus R.E. Mountain.

The girls’ final is Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and the boys’ final is at 4 p.m.

Other local teams participating include the John Barsby boys and girls, the Dover Bay boys and the Nanaimo District girls.

GAME ON

Thursday, Jan. 12

Girls – Wellington vs. Shawnigan, 3 p.m.Boys – Wellington vs. R.E. Mountain, 4:30 p.m.Boys – Dover Bay vs. D.W. Poppy, 6 p.m.Girls – Poppy vs. Nanaimo District, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 13

Girls – Wellington vs. John Barsby, 8:15 a.m.Boys – Wellington vs. Barsby, 9:50 a.m.Boys – Dover Bay vs. Spectrum, 11:20 a.m.Girls – Poppy vs. Credo, 12:50 p.m.Boys – Barsby vs. R.E. Mountain, 2:20 p.m.Girls – Shawnigan vs. Barsby, 3:50 p.m.Boys – Spectrum vs. Poppy, 5:20 p.m.Girls – Credo vs. NDSS, 6:50 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 14

Girls – fifth/sixth place, 8:30 a.m.Boys – fifth/sixth place, 10 a.m.Girls – third/fourth place, 11:30 a.m.Boys – third/fourth place, 1 p.m.Girls – first/second place, 2:30 p.m.Boys – first/second place, 4 p.m.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

Nanaimo News Bulletin