YSAA – Jamie Shaw 1st Memorial Tournament Champs Crowned

December 15, 2018 by  
Filed under Provincial and Territorial News



FH Collins wins Men’s and Women’s  in Jamie Shaw Memorial Tournament!


TAKING IT TO THE HOOP – F.H.C. player Emma Boyd (13) drives to the basket against Skagway defenders in first half action of the championship game of the Jamie Shaw Me- morial Tournament on Saturday at F.H. Collins.

Warriors sweep basketball championships

The championship games of the first annual Jamie Shaw Memorial Tournament were held Saturday afternoon at F.H. Collins.

By John Tonin on December 10, 2018

The championship games of the first annual Jamie Shaw Memorial Tournament were held Saturday afternoon at F.H. Collins. The tournament was held in honour of the late Jamie Shaw, who worked at F.H.C. as the athletic director then later as the vice-principal. Shaw was a dedicated coach and had numerous coaching certifications in many athletic disciplines, but his main passion, according to coworker Alain Desrochers, who worked with Shaw for three years, was basketball.

The tournament featured the girls and boys senior teams from the three Whitehorse high schools. As well, Skagway and Haines Junction had two teams entered. All the games Haines played were considered exhibition games, due to the 10-practice rule.

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Photo by John Tonin

In the girls final the F.H. Collins Warriors played Skagway. It was not a high scoring game, but the game had everything one would expect from a championship game.

The intensity was high, the teams were getting chippy with each other, and the crowd was boisterous.

The Warriors were in the lead 4-3 at the midway point of the first half (the game was two 20 minute halves). The Warriors played suffocating defence, picking up the Skagway ball handlers full court. The relentlessness of the Warriors press defence led to numerous turnovers and the opportunity for transition buckets, which in the early going were not converted. Still, the game was being played in Skagway’s defensive end.

Warriors head coach Claire Abbott said the team was put together shortly before the tournament started. Since they were not able to have many practices before the tournament one of the points of emphasis was pressure.

“The focus is putting pressure,” said Abbott. “We didn’t have any practice on a press. We just said play full court man-to-man, deny and force the team to the left. By implementing an actual press, a trapping press, we are going to be unstoppable.”

The Warriors rode their defence to an 8-3 lead with 8:42 remaining in the first half.

The game began to get fiery, as both teams began to initiate a lot of contact, which prompted the crowd to shout at the refs.

On the court, every positive play by either team was followed by shouts of “lets go!” Abbott said the team was able to keep their composure even as the game got rougher, and the whistle didn’t go their way.

“When it does get like that, and there are players who are hacking and playing very aggressive, is that to keep your composure,” said Abbott. “Character is what we are looking for, not reacting to those hacking fouls or calls that are not fair. Let’s keep level-headed, let’s keep that mentality and that character nice and strong.”

The Warriors led 18-9 going into the second half. The Warriors continued to play hard on the defensive end in the second, and their efforts were being rewarded as the ball began to drop in.

At the midway point of the second half, the Warriors had grown their lead to 18-9. Although down on the scoreboard, Skagway still had a lot of fight left in them. With the game clock inching closer to zero, Skagway was able to make a late run to get the game within six.

The Warriors got a clutch layup then were able to make their free throws after being intentionally fouled in the final seconds, and they pulled out a 23-16 win.

The Warriors went undefeated through the tournament. In their first game, they built positive momentum, and Abbott said they were able to carry that throughout the tournament.

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Photo by John Tonin

In the boys final the Warriors played the Porter Creek Rams, a rematch of the first boys game of the tournament, which the Rams won.

The Rams jumped out to an early 9-0 led, but it quickly evaporated as the Warriors began hitting their shots. The beginning stages of the first half was a firefight, as both teams traded baskets. The score was 16 all at the 10-minute mark of the first.

As the half moved on, the shots the Rams were making early on were no longer falling. The Warriors continued to get buckets and went on an 11 point run to lead after the first half 27-16.

The Rams got two quick baskets at the start of the second half. The offence dried up after that, they were getting their shots, but they were just not falling. The Warriors offence continued to roll. They had a 12 point lead at the midway point of the second half.

The Rams got the spark they needed when the team saw two threes drop through the cylinder. The intensity of the game ramped up, above and beyond what you would expect of a championship game.

The game was physical, the players on the court were loud, and each team had to fight for every inch of space they got while trying to generate their offence.

The Rams cut into the lead some more getting a basket plus the foul. They were then fouled on a three-pointer and hit two-of-three free throws to cut the deficit to one, 43-42.

This was as close as the Rams would get. With less than a minute remaining in the game the Warriors were still up by one 50-49. To slow down the clock, the Rams had to play the foul game.

The Warriors hit their free-throws down the stretch, to win the game 52-49, and take the first annual Jamie Shaw Memorial Tournament championship.

Warriors captain Ralph Hermosa said the team never got down on themselves even after the lead started to dwindle.

“If we started doubting ourselves then that would have just brought our energy level down,” said Hermosa. “So our whole team tried to keep up our energy, keep playing 100 per cent.”

The Warriors had lost to the Rams in their first game of the tournament. Hermosa said the team just stuck to the game plan and executed.

“It was awesome, we moved the ball around, our energy was great,” said Hermosa.

“We kept everybody up, we didn’t let anyone down. We talked, switched every screen, it was great. We knew it was going to be physical and it was going to be really tough, we had to push through everything, whatever it took to win.”

Hermosa was coached by Shaw in Grade 8 and Grade 10. The principles he learned from his late coach, Hermosa applied to the game.

“Every bit of it,” said Hermosa. “It was for Shaw.”

A quote from Jamie Shaw on the F.H. Collins physical education website reads.

“It is not the result that is the big picture, it’s how hard you try and the effort you put into everything.”

Desrochers was just one of many people who made the tournament possible, it was truly a community and school effort to organize the event. Desrochers says next year he hopes the tournament will grow and have more teams join.

The tournament ran from Thursday to Saturday. On Friday a skills competition was held in the afternoon. In the morning a pancake breakfast was held with all proceeds going to the Jamie Shaw Memorial Fund.

The Jamie Shaw Memorial Fund is to provide funding and access to training for athletes and coaches in the Yukon for development in their sport, so they can strive to be the best they can be.

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