Jamie Shaw Tournament Is Back!

Haines, Alaska girls win Jamie Shaw tourney; St. Francis takes boys’ title

Photo by Morris Prokop
GOING FOR THE BUCKET – Haines, Alaska Glacier Bears’ Alison Benda, left drives to the basket against F.H.’s Rue Charchun at the Jamie Shaw Memorial tourney Saturday at F.H. Collins. The Glacier Bears triumphed in the girls’ final 43-31.

The Haines, Alaska Glacier Bears girls won the first Jamie Shaw Memorial basketball tournament in three years.

By Morris Prokop on December 13, 2022

The Haines, Alaska Glacier Bears girls won the first Jamie Shaw Memorial basketball tournament in three years.

The boys’ title was captured by the St. Francis Crusaders.

F.H. Collins teacher and tournament organizer Andrew Jansen explained how the tourney came about.

“We started the Jamie Shaw Memorial tournament five years ago, when Jamie Shaw, a beloved teacher and then principal in our school, passed away from leukemia in April of 2018, we started the first tournament in 2018 in December and then we had the second one in 2019 and we were gaining a lot of momentum and then unfortunately in 2020 and 2021, we couldn’t run it through the pandemic, so this is kind of our restart to it.

“We raise a lot of funds for the Jamie Shaw Memorial Foundation, which helps underprivileged youth in our territory have a chance to be successful and achieve things they might not be able to that they’re limited by money or opportunities, so it’s a worthy cause that Jamie really supported. He dedicated his life to the school and the students in the communities where he taught.”

Jansen added “The tournament’s been really good so far. It’s been very busy. A lot of positive feedback from a lot of people. I’m hoping tomorrow to figure out how much money we raised but in 2019 I think we raised $6,000 or $7,000 … we’ve had tons of donations from all across the community.”

The girls’ final, featuring Haines versus F.H. Collins, was a tight one, with Haines leading F.H. 24-20 in the second half.

The final score was 43-31 for the Glacier Bears.

The Star asked Haines coach Coleman Stanford what he thought of the game.

“Exhausting. We showed up with six girls and they worked their butt off to compete … it feels good. Early in the season it’s nice to come out with some success after we put in some hard work, especially – F.H. challenged us like that in that second half. They tested us and I’m really proud of how my girls responded.”

Stanford said the key to victory was “Hard work. It’s always hard work. No matter what you come up against, it’s who wants it more and that’s what I told them at halftime.”

According to Stanford, there were a few reasons why they had such a small roster.

“We have some girls who are focusing on some school work right now and other school-related topics. Some of them have been sick. We’re missing a good 40 per cent of our depth chart right now. So I’m really happy with the girls that did come and how they showed up, what they brought to the court. We’re happy.”

The seniors stood out for Stanford.

“I’m always proud of my seniors. They always set the tone day-in and day-out in practice and then they show up on the floor. Whatever I ask them to do. I’ve got several sophomores right now that are really putting in valuable minutes and showing a lot of growth. I’ve got a couple girls that came this weekend – they’ve scored more this weekend than they ever did their freshman year last year, so it’s been really good.”

In the boys’ game, F.H. Collins got off to a good start with a 9-2 run, but after that, St. Francis came back to close the gap.

The Warriors held on to a 28-23 after the first quarter. St. Francis took over after that, leading 53-43 at the half and 66-58 after three quarters.

St. Francis widened the gap at the end of the game. The final score read St. Francis 85, F.H. 68.

Sean McCarron, St. Francis boys’ coach, talked about the intensity of the game.

“I don’t know if it’s having a couple of years off that the intensity was super high for what is really a pre-season tournament but we want to set that tone early as a team and I know that (F.H.) coach (Cole) Marshall wants his team, right from day one, to play tough and play strong. And I think both teams had to gut it out a little bit here … it was a super fun game for sure.”

McCarron said the key to winning was the Crusaders trap.

“I think our trap created turnovers and just upped the pace a little bit. Neither team really shot the ball that well … in the second half, things got tight, guys got tired, and so we probably created a few more turnovers, which gave us a few easy layups. We finally at the end hit a few threes, which was the difference and we picked up a couple steals in the last two minutes … it wasn’t really a 17-point win for us.”

Regarding winning the tourney, McCarron said “The winning is nice but it’s really about performance at this stage. If we played well and F.H. played really well, and then they beat us, there’s not much more you can do … I’m looking more for execution, unselfish play, good decisions at this stage.

“F.H.’s strength is their size and their physical strength, so they’re able to push us around quite a bit. Jon (Ainge, F.H. point guard) is a fantastic player … our style is smaller, a little quick, fast and try to be aggressive and smart at the same time, whereas F.H., they take up a lot of space in the key. We cannot out-jump them at the basket, we cannot out-rebound them most of the time, so by the end of the year, if we want to win more than just the Jamie Shaw, we’re really gonna be pushed and I’m looking forward to having F.H. make us a better team … it’s a great start to what is really our first regular season in three years … it’s an honour to win this tournament in Jamie’s name.”

McCarron added “We’ll get better, they’ll get better and Yukon ball is in a good spot.”

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