What better way to prepare for the Canada Summer Games than competing in a tournament against other teams heading to PEI this month?
Yukon’s U-17 boys’ and girls’ basketball teams got a taste of things to come by competing in the Manitoba Invitational Tournament held at the University of Winnipeg last weekend.
“All the teams there are provincial teams that will be participating at the Canada Summer Games,” said Yukon boys head coach Tim Brady. “It was a tournament specifically put together for Canada Summer Games teams.”
Both teams left with less-than-stellar results, finishing near to, or at, the bottom of their pools, but brought back useful experience they will take to the Summer Games that begin August 15, say both coaches.
“We weren’t going there to win, we were working on things, but sometimes we let the score get away from us,” said girls head coach Mark Hureau. “That’s the cost of reaching our goals. If we’re working on a press and it gets beat, that’s why we’re working on it.
“We’re not playing winning basketball if we try to match them. So we were there to learn, more than any other team and I think we did.”
“That was pretty good for us because now we have a sense of how good they are,” said Brady. “We’re taking away a lot; we got to know ourselves.
“To bring a team out (to such a tournament) is always an education for us. We really don’t get much opportunity to play games at this level.”
The boys’ team went 1-4 at the invitational, ending the tournament with a 58-39 win over the Northwest Territories team. The girls’ team failed to produce a win but started strong, taking a lead over the strong Saskatchewan team, before losing 97-38.
“The (Saskatchewan game) stood out to us because after a quarter and a half we were winning,” said Hureau. “Then they made some adjustments and we subbed-in (players) and made some adjustments. Then in the last quarter we were working on something that wasn’t working at all.
“We actually went there with six girls that are only 15, so we’re really a young team. It’s a disadvantage but those are the athletes we have.”
Contact Tom Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org