The Vanier Crusaders were guaranteed a gold medal before the tip-off on Saturday.
It was classmate versus classmate, teammate versus teammate, as two Vanier teams met in the Grade 8 girls gold medal game at the Yukon Basketball Championships at F.H. Collins Secondary School.
“Throughout the year we did everything together as a team,” said Crusaders head coach Stefans Jackson. “I told them beforehand it doesn’t matter who wins the medal because everyone is responsible for getting that banner we’ll be getting for winning the Yukon champs.
“I told them today everyone is a winner.”
Vanier 2 took the gold with a 22-19 win over their Vanier 1 teammates.
The Vanier 2 team took the lead midway through the first quarter on a jump shot from Juulia MacDonald at 7-6 and held the lead to the end.
But the game came within inches of going to overtime. Vanier 1 pulled to within three points on a free throw from Emma Pater at 22-19 with under a minute left, and teammate Tara Magsucang almost drained a tying three-pointer with 10 seconds left.
“That would have been very intense,” said Jackson. “She’s made three-pointers in practice, which gave me hope it would have gone in.”
Vanier 2 went undefeated in the championship and reached the final with a one-point win over the F.H. Collins Warriors, who took the bronze.
Alyssa Cuenza led the Vanier 2 team with eight points in the final while MacDonald had five.
Cuenza was named league MVP following the medal ceremony.
“I don’t think I’m the MVP,” said Cuenza. “All of Vanier, we’re all a team. There doesn’t need to be an MVP because we all played together and we all played well.”
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Jaici Fobe (Rams)
Maren Bilsky (Warriors)
Juulia MacDonald (Crusaders)
Heather Munro (Crusaders)
Tara Magsucang (Crusaders)
MVP Alyssa Cuenza (Crusaders)