The Isfeld Ice senior boys basketball team kicked off the first week of February with a pair of league wins at home, and followed with a pair of road wins later in the month.
Feb. 1 was a contest for first place against rival Carihi from Campbell River. The Ice led the tight game by four at the half, maintained their intensity, and pulled away with a 104-88 victory. The win left the Ice alone in first place.
Kye Kotapski-Tinga led all scorers with 36 points. Temwa Mtawali and Jasper Halvorson scored 26 and 18 points.
The following night, Isfeld beat Ballenas of Parksville 103-53. Halvorson led the team with 30 points, while Karman Kandola finished with 20. Grade 11 Timo Kennedy caught fire in the fourth quarter, hitting four three-pointers in a row to finish the game with 16 points. Harlow Nield, also in Grade 11, had another strong game, pitching in 12 points and six rebounds.
In its final league game Feb. 8, the team beat Port Alberni 95-54 on the road. The Ice jumped to a 22-5 lead early in the first quarter. By half-time, the boys were ahead 56-24. All players saw plenty of floor time in the second half, with most hitting the scoresheet. Kotapski-Tinga again led the team with 22 points. Kandola and Halvorson had 20 and 17 points. Kennedy was once again hot in the fourth quarter, scoring three in a row for nine points.
On Friday, Feb. 11, Isfeld played at Brentwood College — the top-ranked double-A team in B.C. — for a final exhibition match before playoffs. The score changed hands many times in an intense, physical game, but the Ice earned a 74-73 win. A late three by Kandola and a basket by Kotapski-Tinga with 25 seconds remaining put the Ice in the lead, and Isfeld hung on with great defence from Duncan Whetter and Halvorson. Kotapski-Tinga scored 30 and Mtawali 24.
The 22-1 Ice is the number one seed among triple-A teams on Vancouver Island and number five in B.C.
The North Island playoffs are Feb. 17-19 at Wellington Secondary in Nanaimo. Isfeld receives a bye in the first round, and will play Friday at 4 p.m.
Isfeld hosts the Island Championship tournament Feb. 24-26. By that time, the team hopes spectators will again be allowed to attend.