The Vanier Crusaders practiced some alchemy on Saturday, turning a two-point lead into gold.
The Crusaders ended the season with a big fourth quarter, defeating the Porter Creek Rams 43-30 for gold in the Grade 8/9 junior boys division at the Yukon High School Basketball Championships at Porter Creek Secondary.
The Crusaders, who were the defending champs in junior boys, went undefeated at the championships.
“I’m really proud of the boys to maintain their composure throughout the game,” said Crusaders head coach Mike Gallant. “It’s interesting mixing (Grade) 8s and 9s for the first time, at least as far as my coaching period in the Yukon.”
In previous years there was a Grade 8 division in addition to Grade 9/10 and Grade 11/12 divisions. This year there were two divisions, a Grade 8/9 and a 10/11/12.
“The composure is built in part from these Grade 9s, bringing up the maturity of the 8s,” said Gallant. “The 8s were responding because the 9s were here and it was that aspect of the game that allowed us to keep composure, keep focus and keep looking ahead no matter if PC was scoring on us or not.
“I’m really proud of the boys.”
The Crusaders produced the most lopsided quarter to end the final against the Rams, who were the only team from Porter Creek to make a final at this year’s championship.
Vanier put 11 points on the board – the same as in the first and third quarters – but held the Rams to just five, Porter Creek’s lowest in the game.
Crusaders’ Lorem Lumanog led his team with 20 points in the final while teammates Rosuel Carpina and Morgan Ramsey each had six.
Lumanog hit three of four free-throws in the fourth quarter and capitalized on an offensive rebound for his team’s final points in the game. He was named championship MVP after the medal ceremony.
“Lorem is a fantastic player, he’s mature and has one of those gifts where he has a lot of composure and maturity and sees well beyond himself during a game,” said Gallant. “That’s what you need out of all your players and we’re fortunate to have Lorem fill that role in that category. I couldn’t be prouder of him.”
Jerrett Peterson and Zack Unrau led the Rams with eight points each in the final.
The Porter Creek Rams No. 2 team claimed the bronze, leaving the F.H. Collins Warriors with no hardware in the division this year.
Roswell Karpina (Crusaders)
Jared Leary (J.V. Clark)
JR Smallwood (Rams)
Anshil Kumar (Warriors)
Zack Unrau (Rams)
Lorem Lumanog (Crusaders)
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