The favourites for senior divisions in the upcoming Yukon Basketball Championships could not be any clearer.
The Vanier Crusaders senior boys and the F.H. Collins Warriors senior girls completed undefeated Super Hoops seasons with decisive wins over the Porter Creek Rams in the finals at Vanier Catholic Secondary School on March 3.
The Crusaders beat the Rams 84-65 in the boys final and the Warriors topped the Rams 92-41 in the girls final.
“It was a good game. It was typically fast-paced for us, which is what we want,” said Crusader boys head coach Sean McCarron. “We’re not a very big team, sort of like past years, but we have a lot of speed and a lot of skill.”
Not only do the Crusaders have speed and skill, they have a dynasty to defend. The team will attempt to win their school’s sixth straight senior boys title at the Yukon Basketball Championships that begin next week.
The Crusaders instigated a fierce full-court press right from the get-go and finished the first quarter up by 10 points. Ian New led the game in scoring with 20 points and was named the Super Hoops season MVP.
“This is his third year playing senior with me and he definitely stepped up, passed well, shot well, played good defence, played like a leader, and helped us with the victory,” said McCarron.
“Players his age and the younger players definitely look up to him. His attitude and his health sort of dictate the way we play.”
Vanier’s Dave Mindanao was second in scoring with 19 while teammate Michael Trinidad had 10. Both were named All-Stars.
Rams All-Star Evan Milenk led the way for his team with 12 points in the final. Teammates Will Klassen and Darcy LaRochelle each had nine points.
The Rams reached the final with a 78-71 win over the F.H. Collins Warriors in the semifinal on March 2.
The F.H. Collins senior girls are also hoping to defend a title. The team won the Yukon championships last year, but only after losing to the Rams in the Super Hoops final. It was a much different story this time around with the Warriors more than doubling the points from the Rams to complete their undefeated Super Hoops season.
“We worked our hardest in practice. We practice like we want to play, which means fast drills, shots that would be taken in a game and absolute focus in all practices,” said Warriors player Jetta Bilsky. “I think that really reflected in our game play. We played to our speed and not the other team’s.”
Warriors’ Dylan Massie put 14 points on the board in the final while teammate Jayden Demchuk, who was named an All-Star, had 12. Bilsky led the game in scoring with 16 points and was named season MVP for senior girls.
“It feels pretty great. I worked my absolute hardest during the whole season, so it’s nice to see that was recognized,” said Bilsky.
Rams All-Star Line Jensen was her team’s top scorer with 15 points. Teammate Landyn Blisner had nine.
The Rams advanced to the final with a 72-64 win over the Vanier Crusaders in the senior girls semifinal the previous night.
Contact Tom Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org