Chemainus coughs up turnovers to Esquimalt under pressure

Decent first half gives way to a difficult second in basketball contest

The early part of the basketball season is going to be all about learning experiences for the Chemainus Secondary School senior boys Cougars.

The Cougars played two games Saturday in their home gym against opponents of different levels and dropped both, but picked up some valuable lessons that should fuel improvement in the new year.

The first contest brought a 75-38 loss for the single-A Cougars against triple-A Esquimalt followed by a closer 45-37 result against Cedar, another single-A team.

Chemainus held it own during the first part of the Esquimalt game, leading 12-11 at the end of the first quarter and trailing just 27-21 at halftime. But it all came unravelled in the third quarter, as Esquimalt outscored Chemainus 28-3 for a commanding lead and never looked back.

The main reason for the turnaround was the Cougars wilted when Esquimalt applied intense pressure on the ball.

“They threw a front-court press on us and we haven’t practiced a press break yet,” pointed out Cougars’ coach Kyle Peruniak, who’s receiving assistance at the bench from Chemainus grad Sean Lefebure.

“The guys had to deal with it. That’s probably the quarter. We lost 15-20 points.

“I thought to that point we were definitely in the game. The defence is what we’re stressing right now.”

The Cougars had trouble on their in-bounds passing, resulting in numerous turnovers.

“We had over 40 turnovers,” noted Peruniak. “You’re never going to win a game when you have 20+ turnovers.”

Darius Thomas played a strong game in the losing cause. He was not only the leading scorer for Chemainus with 14 points, but played aggressively on the boards until the end.

That’s one thing Peruniak wants to see from his players is a determined effort no matter what the score.

“Even when we’re down 30 points, we don’t give up,” he said. “We’re still playing hard defence.”

Alex Loewe chipped in with nine points and Matt Simpson had six.

Esquimalt stayed on the floor for another game immediately afterwards against Cedar. Chemainus took a break and then went up against Cedar a few hours later.

Seen as a beatable opponent, Cedar came charging back on Chemainus for the victory in the late stages.

“It was disappointing,” conceded Peruniak. “We were leading for most of the game and we lost it in the fourth quarter.”

The lesson here is how to take command of a game in that situation.

“We’ve never played with the lead before and how to protect it,” observed Peruniak. “They managed to pull away in the last five minutes. It was a hard one to lose.”

Kota Sakakibara had the hot scoring hand for Chemainus, backed up by Loewe.

The good news is the team reduced its turnovers to a more respectable 14, but the team’s overall effort didn’t match the first game.

“If we had brought that intensity in the second game, I think we would have won it,” Peruniak indicated.

 

Just Posted

Chemainus Cougars qualify for Island senior boys basketball tournament

Heroics by captain Simpson and Harris lead to challenge victory over Campbell River Christian

It’s a lovebeat at Daponte’s Valentine’s Day show

Heavy snow outside blurs the lines of exactly what occasion was being celebrated

Back to school for Vancouver Island’s snow-covered kids, more snow coming

All school districts in business this morning but officials warn another 5-10 centimetres today

Ongoing 18-year road trip a test of relationship endurance

Dale and Jeanette Hillis hitch up their fifth wheel and remained hitched through thick and thin

True love knows no bounds after 66 years of marriage

Danny and Pam Dyke met under interesting circumstances and still going strong

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

B.C. athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

New round of consultations with Indigenous communities is coming

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

B.C. communities push back against climate change damages campaign

Activists copying California case that was tossed out of court

Most Read