The Vanier Crusaders Grade 8 boys team lost their first game of the season. They didn’t lose another one.
The Crusaders won the Grade 8 boys division of the YSAA Yukon Basketball Championships on Friday at Porter Creek Secondary.
They captured the gold with a 46-31 win over the F.H. Collins Warriors in the final.
“I’m proud of all the boys,” said Crusaders head coach Mike Gallant. “It felt like it was F.H. Collins’ strongest game of the season, and it’s always great to peak in the gold medal game. F.H. Collins came out hard and it put our guys on ice in the first quarter. That called for our Grade 8 boys to dig deep and that’s what my guys were able to do today.”
The Crusaders took control of the game in the third quarter with a pair of runs.
Tournament MVP Ian New gave his team a 19-17 lead with a basket just before half time. He then turned play-maker to help set up runs that expanded the lead to 25-17 and an 11 point run to make it 36-20.
New, who had 19 points in the final, scored 17 of his team’s 21 points.
His ability to put points on the board, as well as make plays, is what earned him the MVP nod.
“He’s a great team player. Even in the dying moments of the game he had an open layup and he dished it off to another one of our players,” said Gallant. “To see that heads-up ability at the Grade 8 level signals that you’re dealing with a different player. As a coach, it’s a luxury to have a kid like Ian there, not just for putting points up on the board, but activating his teammates and making plays.”
All-Star Lorem Lumanog was second in scoring for the Crusaders with 13 points while teammate Argus Huggard had six.
Warriors All-Stars Akshay Malhotra and Skylar Bryant led their team with 10 and nine points.
The Porter Creek Rams took the bronze.
“We have a fantastic player in Ian New, but this year – more than recent years – we’ve had a superb deep bench,” said Gallant. “When you have that much quality athletic ability and know-how on the bench, it’s really fortunate. The boys dug deep and it was a real team effort.”
Ryan Hinson (Porter Creek)
Lorem Lumanog (Vanier)
Skylar Bryant (F.H. Collins)
Ian New (Vanier)
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