YSAA – Superhoops 2020

February 28, 2020 by  
Filed under Provincial and Territorial News

Girls Championship

F H Collins
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Photo by John Tonin

DRIVING THE BASKET – F.H. Collins Warriors player Arian Batalones, right, shoots over Vanier Crusaders forward Nicole Farkas during the Superhoops championship game Wednesday at Porter Creek.

Warriors down Crusaders, win Superhoops final

The girls opened the Superhoops championship action Wednesday at Porter Creek as the F.H. Collins Warriors took on the Vanier Crusaders.

By John Tonin on February 27, 2020Share on FacebookShare on Twitter

The girls opened the Superhoops championship action Wednesday at Porter Creek as the F.H. Collins Warriors took on the Vanier Crusaders.

The Warriors used a strong press defence and got out on the break, to open up the game in the second half to take the final 82-56.

It’s been an odd year for the girls’ teams this Superhoops season. Porter Creek’s team folded, leaving just Vanier and F.H.

“It’s been constant competition between schools,” said Warriors’ guard, and player of the game, Maren Bilsky. “It’s a little different because you know everything about them. You know all their tactics, all their habits so it’s kind of fun but it was unfortunate that they (Porter Creek) left.”

Having played the Crusaders consistently, Bilsky said, it made the game more difficult.

“Yes, but it’s definitely awesome to see them improve and watch us improve,” said Bilsky. “You never know what’s going to happen. It does make it more difficult because every step you take they had time to plan ahead.”

The past two years, the Warriors have had strong regular seasons but had disappointing results come playoff time. Bilsky likened the Warriors to Canada’s lone NBA team’s run to a championship.

“I like to relate F.H. Collins to the Toronto Raptors,” said Bilsky. “Sometimes, they have a tough time making it to the championships. The past two years, we’ve lost in the finals but won all the games before that.

“I was hoping we’d break the chain this year and we did, so I was really excited about that.”

F.H. opened the game with a strong press and was able to get out in transition to build an early 14-8 advantage.

As the first quarter professed, Vanier used crisp passes to break the press of the Warriors. The Crusaders attacked the basket and lived at the foul line and they cut it to a three-point 19-16 deficit after one.

It was a back-and-forth second quarter. One team would go on a run, but the other had the answer and would claw right back into it.

Heading into half, the game was tied at 39.

F.H. broke the game open in the third, gaining momentum early and not relinquishing it. Bilsky said this had to do with the teams’ mental game.

“It was complete mental game,” said Bilsky. “We had to get into the mode of ‘OK, we aren’t losing, but we aren’t winning. We need to turn it on and pump us up, play aggressive and play our game.'”

The Warriors continued their relentless pressure on both sides of the ball, creating an insurmountable lead on their way to the championship.

In her Grade 12 year, Bilsky said it was nice to go out with a win.

“It feels really nice,” said Bilsky. “I’ve been on the senior team for four years out of my five years in high school. So finally getting one in my senior year is a different feeling. I love it.”

The two teams will meet again at Yukon Championships in two weeks. Bilsky said Vanier gave them everything they could handle in Superhoops and expects them to be stronger still the next time they play.

“Vanier has definitely got better in every step,” said Bilsky. “Every player has evolved for sure.”

Tish Siosan was the player of the game for Vanier.

Boys Championship

Porter Creek Rams
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Photo by John Tonin

HITTING THE FADE – Porter Creek Rams forward Parker Hobbis shoots over his defender, Vanier guard Josh Rumbaoa, during second half Superhoops championship action Wednesday at Porter Creek.

Rams win Superhoops final 85-51

The Superhoops final pitted the Porter Creek Rams against the Vanier Crusaders on Wednesday night at Porter Creek Secondary School.

By John Tonin on February 27, 2020Share on FacebookShare on Twitter

The Superhoops final pitted the Porter Creek Rams against the Vanier Crusaders on Wednesday night at Porter Creek Secondary School.

The teams were all too familiar with each other. Early in the year, the schools played in a barnburner of a game which Porter Creek won on a buzzer-beating layup by Kiiwaadin Swan.

Last week, they squared-off again with a shot at the finals on the line. Neither team was at full capacity, due to Arctic Winter Games and school commitments, and it was once again the Rams pulling out the victory.

On Tuesday, the Crusaders cruised past the F.H. Collins Warriors in the semifinals to secure their spot in the final and a chance to finally overcome the Rams.

The third time was not the charm the Crusaders were hoping for as Porter Creek played a full 40 minutes, cruising to an 85-51 victory.

When the clock hit zero, the Rams swarmed the bench in celebration; it was a win years in the making, said Grade 12 starter, Kenny Hyatt.

“It’s a great feeling man to finally get one,” said Hyatt. “We came so close last year, so it’s finally nice to get one.

“It’s nice for us. We’ve been playing since Grade 8 together as a team. Same coach and everything. It’s finally nice to get one.”

In the semifinal game, Vanier used strong three-point shooting to get past the Warriors. Hyatt said he and his teammates were at that game and knew the message would be to close out on shooters.

“(The message was) locking up their key players and we knew their personnel and who were the shooters,” said Hyatt. “We locked up pretty well on them. A big thing was collapse on the shooters.”

It was the Rams’ defence that dictated the tone of the game. Hyatt said in the final, everything came together on both sides of the ball.

“We came together as a team together pretty good in the end, but we’ve been practising all season,” said Hyatt.

“We locked up on defence a lot better than we did at the beginning of the season and our offence was clicking a lot more.”

It was sustained energy through all four quarters for Porter Creek. Hyatt said their coach Paul MacDonald told the team to continue to fight as if they were down on the scoreboard.

“Beginning of every quarter, Mac just said pretend like we are down 20,” said Hyatt. “We played from that and kept our energy up.”

In the early goings of the first quarter, both teams struggled to find their offence. It was Porter Creek who found their footing first.

The Rams began hitting from behind the arc. Vanier adjusted and closed out on shooters, but Porter Creek attacked the closeout and drove to the basket.

Vanier worked the ball around, trying to work the inside-outside game; they were able to find their shooters, but the Rams closed-out hard. The Crusaders always had a hand in their face when they let it fly.

Porter Creek took a 21-7 lead into the second.

After shaking off their slow opening five-minutes to start the game, Porter Creek was relentless. On offence, they scored from three, in halfcourt sets and on the break.

The Ram defence was stifling. Nothing came easy for Vanier, who only managed three points in the second quarter.

As the third quarter progressed into the fourth, it was evident it was Porter Creek’s day. Regardless of who was on the court for them, they played as a team, outworking their opponent.

They played that way until the final buzzer, earning a well-deserved win.

This isn’t the last time the Rams and Warriors will square off this year. The Yukon Championships will be held in two weeks.

Hyatt said winning Superhoops was a big confidence boost for the team. He also noted that he expects Vanier to come back stronger the next time they play.

Player of the games honours was given to Porter Creek’s Tanner Ulrich and Vanier’s Jimbert Trinidad.


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Photo by John Tonin
TO THE BUCKET – Vanier Crusaders guard, and player of the game, Josh Rumbaoa, drives to the basket during Superhoops semifinal action Tuesday at Porter Creek.

Vanier earns berth in Superhoops final

It was an exciting evening of basketball at Porter Creek Secondary School as the F.H. Collins Warriors squared-off with the Vanier Crusaders in Superhoops semifinal action on Tuesday.

By John Tonin on February 26, 2020Share on FacebookShare on Twitter

It was an exciting evening of basketball at Porter Creek Secondary School as the F.H. Collins Warriors squared-off with the Vanier Crusaders in Superhoops semifinal action on Tuesday.

The Crusaders got hot from behind the three-point arc and used an air-tight zone defence to stifle the Warriors’ attack and earn a berth in the Superhoops final winning 71-54.

Awaiting the Crusaders is the Porter Creek Rams, who secured a bye into the championship game last Thursday by beating Vanier.

The first quarter saw shaky play from both teams as they tried to put their stamp on the game.

F.H. found their offence first. The Warriors M.O. was clear – attack the basket. And they did, getting to the Vanier hoop with some ease. When they missed, their bigs were there to secure the rebounds for second chance point opportunities.

The Warriors defence closed out on shooters, and Vanier, usually a crisp passing team, had trouble working the ball around and laboured on offence.

Vanier did find some success late in the first and only trailed 16-13 heading into the second.

The defences for both teams continued to dictate the play early in the second stanza. Vanier began to find their offensive footing midway through, tying it at 18 all – then building a slight four-point cushion 28-24.

With less than a minute-and-a-half left on the clock, Vanier player of the game Josh Rumbaoa buried two step-back threes to give the Crusaders a ten-point lead heading into halftime.

Vanier coach Sean McCarron said the Crusaders began to turn things around in the second and third quarters as the week’s message sunk in.

“The big theme this week was shooting for perfection,” said McCarron. “By perfection I’m not talking about shooting or layups. I’m talking about the things you can control.

Everything from boxing out, two-foot stops, faking a pass, the things that make a difference in a basketball game.

“Today, I thought we did a better job through the middle two quarters of taking care of the ball, getting after loose balls and rebounding better.

“In the first quarter, guys who typically make shots just weren’t making them.”

To start the third, Vanier was able to work the ball around and get good looks from behind the arc, which they buried at a high clip.

“When we move the ball it’s a pretty good percentage to get a good shot,” said McCarron.

“And we actually made a bunch of those shots. Guys just have to trust that the ball is going to get back to them.”

F.H. continued to attack the basket but had less success as the Crusaders switched from man-to-man coverage to a 2-3 zone, effectively packing the paint and the driving lanes.

“Pack it in a little bit and see if any of those guys can knock down a shot,” said McCarron.

“If we aren’t a little tighter on the D, if we get beat, we tend to reach. We wanted to protect the key and see if they can hit some shots.

“If they do we’d call it off and change the D again.”

The Crusaders’ defensive effort and knock-down shooting helped them double their lead as they took a 52-31 advantage into the final frame.

In the fourth, the trend continued. With their shot at the Superhoops final dwindling, F.H. rushed their offence which led to mistakes. Vanier took the game 71-54.

McCarron said the team was not looking ahead to the final.

“Haven’t even thought about it,” said McCarron. “This game we needed to get through and there was no guarantee that we’d win tonight.”

The last time the Rams and Crusaders played was last Thursday when both teams were short players due to Arctic Winter Games and school commitments. The Rams won.

In their first Superhoops meeting, the Rams won on a buzzer-beater.

“We haven’t forgotten that,” said McCarron. “We respect them a ton. They are the number one team for a reason. They are balanced , they are big and aggressive, and they work hard.

“We’ll have to play really well to beat them tomorrow. We won’t be able to have any down quarters.”

McCarron said he is going to keeps tomorrow’s strategy close to the chest, but did say he passed the reigns over to the team.

“I asked the boys what we are going to do tomorrow,” said McCarron. “I had a number of them step up and tell me what they think will work. We are going to start on offence and defence with a plan dictated by the Grade 12s.

“If it doesn’t work we will make adjustments.”

The championship games will be played tonight at Porter Creek. The girls’ final begins at 5 p.m. followed by the boys at 6:30 p.m.

Photo by John Tonin
Vanier Crusaders player Chad Williams, centre, has his shot blocked by F.H. Collins Warriors player Hunter Sandluck, left, while teammate Ralph Hermosa, right, also makes a play at the ball Tuesday during Superhoops semifi nal action at Porter Creek Secondary School.


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Photo by John Tonin

UP AND UNDER – Porter Creek Rams player Aiman Salim, back, lets Crusaders player Karl Tesoro fly past before ducking under for a layup during the sixth instalment of Superhoops Thursday at Vanier.

Rams punch ticket to Superhoops final

By John Tonin on February 21, 2020Share on FacebookShare on Twitter

The complexion of the Porter Creek Rams and Vanier Crusaders rosters looked vastly different during the sixth instalment of Superhoops Thursday at Vanier Secondary School.

Porter Creek played with a short bench, seven players, down from their usual 14. Vanier used call-ups from their Grade 9/10 squad. Why? Many of the regular rotation players had

Arctic Winter Games commitments either with basketball or volleyball, as well as school commitments.

Despite that, the show must go on and both teams had players rise to the moment in a pivotal game. The winner of Thursday’s contest got to book their ticket to the Superhoops final. The loser has to play F.H. in the semifinal game.

The Rams were able to use a stifling zone defence and get out on the break to secure their berth in the final, downing the Crusaders 77-59.

Porter Creek and Vanier played a thrilling game earlier in the season that the Rams won at the buzzer. If the Rams lost by more than a single point, it would have been them in the semis.

“If we had of lost by more than one, Vanier would have got the bye,” said Rams coach Paul MacDonald. “We went 4-0, they went 2-2 and F.H. 0-4, so we get the bye.”

The Rams got off to a great start, getting up by double digits and forcing Vanier into difficult shots. They built an early 11-2 lead but Vanier found their legs and cut it to a two-point deficit heading into the second.

The second frame was much like the first. Porter Creek would go on a run but Vanier would answer right back. MacDonald said the first half was what he expected.

“I’m impressed,” said MacDonald. “We started well but I knew they were going to make a run. They did. The bottom of our zone began sneaking up.”

The Rams stayed in zone throughout the game. When MacDonald noticed the zone breaking down, he made the adjustments necessary in a timeout.

“The boys got to find their voice,” said MacDonald. “This is what I keep telling them. You have to be super loud when playing zone. When our zone was sneaking up in the first half we regrouped in a timeout and got some of our leaders to be more vocal.”

Porter Creek took a three-point lead into the half up 39-36.

The adjustment worked in third as the Rams added to their lead. Their zone tightened up and Vanier had trouble finding space to get off good shots.

The Rams got their hands in the passing lanes and got out on the fast-break.

“That’s when we are best,” said MacDonald. “We get a tip on the ball and breakout. We spend a lot of time in practice on transition stuff. Set offence is basically the same. We have a few plays that we rarely run. That’s a momentum changer.”

Porter Creek took a 51-43 lead heading into the final stanza. In the fourth, they continued to roll and they did it with defence.

Vanier began to find open looks from distance, but their shots were just not falling consistently to bridge the gap.

When the final buzzer sounded, the score was 77-59 Rams.

Before MacDonald spoke about his team, he first gave props to the opponent.

“Kudos to them,” said MacDonald. “Those kids are all in Grade 9/10 and I can’t say enough. They were right with us the whole time.”

The Rams were missing a few key starters and players had to step up into different roles for the team to be successful. MacDonald said it is a good confidence boost for them going forward.

“Especially for some of the guys who have been dealing with some negative energy – not toward anybody in particular,” said MacDonald. “But things haven’t gone their way. To come back here, get a character win, I really congratulate a couple of them on keeping their cool.”

When the finals are played next Wednesday, MacDonald expects the team to be at full strength.

“I should have everybody back (for finals),” said MacDonald. “With this though, I have 14, and we are a different team and so are they when they have their starters.”

Since his heavy-minute players haven’t been with the team, MacDonald said he has gained lots of confidence in his guys.

“Over the last five-six games now, four of my guys who get a lot of minutes haven’t played.

These guys have been in for the last six games. That’s more than a third of the games we get.

“I’m going to have more confidence in those guys going in there to go in and contribute.

Those are big moments for those guys.”

Porter Creek will await the winner of the semifinal game next Tuesday between Vanier and F.H. MacDonald said he happy the team got the bye into the championship.

“It’s nice to go in a little fresher,” said MacDonald. “At the same time, one of those teams will come in after a momentous win. But you know what? I’d rather give the boys a rest, have a good hard practice and then play.”

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