Chemainus Cougars lost all three games during the Island A senior boys basketball zone tournament at Victoria’s Glenlyon Norfolk School, but left with their heads held high.
Thursday night’s opener ended in a tough 70-61 defeat against Nanaimo Christian School.
A large contingent of Chemainus Secondary staff and students attended the game to cheer the team on, led by principal Lori Hryniuk and vice principal Jennie Hittinger.
Cougars’ head coach Kyle Peruniak effectively used his timeouts to diagram a series of offensive strategies.
“The boys stormed back to take a brief one-point lead in the fourth quarter before finally falling,” noted assistant coach Graeme Arkell.
C.J. Loranger had a superb game for Chemainus, scoring 26 points that included three three-point shots and seven free throws. Matt Simpson added 10 points.
Arkell noted defensive rebounding was the team’s primary strength in the game with 25. They were also decent at the free throw line by hitting 10 of 17 shots and made some excellent offensive drives to the hoop – mainly carried out by Loranger and Simpson.
Offensive rebounding was a weakness again with only nine in the game. Field goal shooting accuracy was also a problem with 23 of 64 attempts being successful.
Fouls were a big factor. Will Ngenda and Mark Harris both left in the fourth quarter with five fouls while Simpson and Kyle Brown had four charged against each of them.
Friday action against Gaglardi didn’t go as well, with the Cougars dropping a 76-34 decision.
“The shots didn’t fall for us and there wasn’t enough hustle to get to the rebounds,” Arkell pointed out.
The Cougars were lethargic to start to the game and never really got going. They shot 16 for 69 in field goals, made only two of 14 three-pointers, missed all six free throws and coughed up 19 turnovers.
Austin Webb was a bright spot with eight points. Loranger also had eight, including the team’s only two three-pointers.
The tournament concluded Saturday with a 53-47 setback against Maaqtusiis.
Captain Simpson was not available for the game, but “everybody stepped up and battled hard,” Arkell indicated.
Defensive rebounding kept the Cougars in the game with 31. But, again, the offensive boards were lacking with just three.
The Cougars were 19 for 60 in field goal shooting, three for 17 on three-pointers and six of 12 for 50 per cent in free throws.
Harris had the hot hand for Chemainus with 17 points, including a three-pointer and two free throws. Loranger added 12 points while hitting two three-pointers and a pair of free throws.