YSAA 2019 Basketball Champions

March 8, 2019 by  
Filed under Provincial and Territorial News


Grade 8 Vanier Catholic Secondary School ‘Blue’ Vanier Catholic Secondary School
Junior Porter Creek SS Vanier Catholis Secondary School
Rural St Elias Community School  
Vanier Catholic Secondary School
  F H Collins
Senior Girls Champions – F H Collins
Sr Boys Champions – Vanier Catholic Secondary School
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Photo by John Tonin

CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND – The Grades 8 and Grade 9/10 basketball championships final games were played on Saturday at Vanier Secondary School. The Crusaders teams won three of the four titles on the line. The Porter Creek Rams won the other.

Crusaders, Rams earn basketball championships

The Vanier gym was again the place to be on Saturday if basketball is your sport.

By John Tonin on March 5, 2019Share on FacebookShare on Twitter

The Vanier gym was again the place to be on Saturday if basketball is your sport. The Grade 8 and the Grade 9/10 basketball championships came to an end with the winners bringing home a new banner for the rafters.

The Vanier Crusaders got two new titles to their name as both the girls and the boys’ Grade 8 teams won the finals.

In the girls’ final, the Crusaders took on the Porter Creek Rams. The game remained close heading into the final frame of the game with the Crusaders holding a slight edge in the score.

In the fourth, the Crusaders were able to open the game up, getting it done on defence and getting out on the fast break for easy buckets under the hoop. The Crusaders pushed their lead to double digits and cruised until the final buzzer winning the championship 39-25.

In the boys’ Grade 8 finals, it was an all Crusader game as both Vanier teams made it through to the gold medal finale. Despite the athletes being from the same school, to watch the game, you would not guess that they were classmates.

The game was entertaining to watch. Both teams locked in on defence and didn’t allow any easy buckets in the half court. On offence, the ball zipped around the perimeter trying to break down the defence for looks from three or in the paint.

The game remained tight throughout, with one side pulling away for a six-point lead only to see it evaporate just as quickly. It was the blue side which managed to pull ahead and maintain the lead for an extended period of time.

They carried that lead into the final quarter but the white side managed to pull within one with fewer than four minutes to go. However, the blue side got a clutch three-pointer to pull ahead by four.

Needing points, the white side had to start gambling on on defenc. That meant the blue side was able to get inside for easy buckets if the gamble didn’t pay off.

The blue Vanier side took the game 43-29, in a contest that was much closer than the final score would indicate.

In the Grade 9/10 boys finals, the Rams were able to overcome the F.H. Collins Warriors for the championship.

The Vanier Crusader girls added yet another title to their school’s gym wall on Saturday knocking off the Rams for gold.

Peter Grundmanis, the Yukon Schools Athletic Association’s executive director, said it was a good display of basketball over the weekend.

“Especially heading into the final games, the level was really high,” said Grundmanis. “We saw good, intense games, I was suitably impressed.”

Don’t worry, basketball fans: the senior championships are in full swing, with games happening in the evenings culminating in the gold medal games on Thursday.

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Photo by John Tonin

COLLAPSING THE DEFENCE – Vanier Crusaders guard Josh Rumbaoa, 5, passes the ball out to teammate Chad Williams, 2, for an open three during the first half of the Senior Basketball Championships at Vanier on Thursday.

Warriors, Crusaders win b-ball titles

The excitement over the Senior Basketball Championships almost blew the roof off of the Vanier gym on Thursday.

By John Tonin on March 8, 2019Share on FacebookShare on Twitter

The excitement over the Senior Basketball Championships almost blew the roof off of the Vanier gym on Thursday.

The crowd was electric for both games and if you were there your ears are probably still ringing like my own.

It was a rematch of the girls’ Superhoops final to kick off the evening as it was the Vanier Crusaders and F.H. Collins Warriors once again battling it out with a title on the line.

The Warriors got out to the early lead after the first quarter and in the second frame, they grew their advantage more. F.H. was able to control the pace of the game. They got any look they wanted hitting from behind the arc and under the basket.

The Warriors were looking to avenge their only loss of the season against Vanier in the Superhoops final. Coach Claire Abbott said it was about mental preparation heading into the championship game.

“It was all in the mental preparation, what happens before the game,” said Abbott. “So the visualization piece and choosing the one thing to really put their mind to, to get them ready and amped up because that intensity needs to get to that next level.”

Vanier showed flashes throughout the game and went on runs of their own but they could never get the lead back.

The Warriors, as was the case all season, had a relenting full-court press and forced the Crusaders into turnovers which lead to easy fast-break points.

Abbott said she was happy with her team’s intensity level in the game.

“I loved how they started the game and how they finished each quarter,” said Abbott.

“It is kind of like a chapter. They closed it really well. There may have been things in the middle they could have improved but they showed in the next quarter that they cleaned it up. It was beautiful.”

The Warriors continued to build their lead in the second half, led on offence by tournament MVP Sheridan Curteanu.

The Crusaders put up a fight and the game was much closer than the final 74-57 score would indicate.

Vanier make it eight straight

The boys’ game between the Porter Creek Rams and Crusaders came down to the wire. With 0.3 seconds remaining in the fourth Rams guard Parker Hobbis stepped to the line with his team trailing by two, 87-85.

The gym was deafening. The Vanier fans were cheering and stomping, doing anything to distract Hobbis while he shot.

He calmly swished the first shot, briefly quieting the crowd. The lead cut to one.

As he stepped back to the line the noise level once again rose. He shot, the ball hit the back rim and caromed out. The rebound was secured by Vanier and in so they also secured their eighth straight basketball championship.

Crusaders coach Sean McCarron said there was pressure in the final game, not because of the winning streak, but because they had worked so hard throughout the season.

“The focus was just to play really well all season and we did,” said McCarron as he fought through tears. “When the battles get so heated … and I work them really hard, I’m tough on them. You want them to win, you want the Grade 12’s to walk away. There is pressure just because you feel for the boys and you want them to be rewarded.”

It was not an easy game for the Crusaders. The Rams gave them everything they could, outplaying them in the first half. The Rams were the more aggressive team in the first half getting to their spots on offence and dismantling the Crusaders on the glass.

Vanier made a late run at the end of the first half but was still lucky to be down by only seven 46-39. McCarron said he just wanted his team to stay alive until they could get their shots and play their game.

“Every team this year had their own personality,” said McCarron. “Ours is small, quick, hopefully, hit some shots and hope teams don’t go big. Porter Creek’s is size and strength and they went to that.

“(I knew) eventually we would get our legs and get our shots but at that point, you are just trying to stay alive until we can get our shots and in the third quarter we started hitting shots.”

Out of the gate in the third quarter, the Vanier offence, led by tournament MVP Josh Rumbaoa, made it a point to drive to the basket. The constant attack on the basket opened up passing lanes and the Crusaders were able to hit their three-point attempts – Andrew Smyth had five makes off the bench.

It was tied at 68 going into the deciding frame. With a little under four minutes left the Crusaders led by six, but the Rams kept pushing until they were only down two with 0.3 seconds remaining and a chance to tie it from the foul line.

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