Crusaders poised for fifth straight Yukon title

The Vanier Crusaders won their semifinal handily and ran away with it in the final. The team looks to be on the verge of winning a fifth-straight senior-boys Yukon title.

The Vanier Crusaders won their semifinal handily and ran away with it in the final.

The team looks to be on the verge of winning a fifth-straight senior-boys Yukon title.

Maintaining the dynasty isn’t keeping Crusaders co-captain RJ Siosan up at night.

“No pressure,” he said. “We’re just going to stay focused, play defence and play our game.”

The Crusaders defended their Whitehorse high school title with an 89-50 win over the Porter Creek Rams in the Super Hoops final at Porter Creek Secondary School on Tuesday.

The Crusaders took a little time to find their momentum in the final, trading early baskets for half the first quarter. They broke it open with a seven-point run for a 20-9 lead, capped with a hookshot from guard Ian New. Vanier finished the half up by 20 and the third quarter up by 43.

“Tonight I thought our defence was phenomenal. That was our number one focus,” said Crusaders head coach Sean McCarron. “We played well on offence. We practised for an hour before the game, running through our offence.”

“We’re feeling great,” said Siosan. “At first we were down for a bit and then we picked it up and everyone was in flow then.”

Crusaders All-Star David Mindanao led the team with 26 points while Siosan – another All-Star – put 21 on the board, despite a sprained finger on his shooting hand.

Point guard New registered 17 points in the final and was named league MVP.

“He’s our point, so there’s a lot of pressure on him to run the offence and to create for guys like RJ,” said McCarron. “He plays both ends of the floor. He’s a great defender and obviously scores and assists – creates a lot for our offence.”

“He’s a good player, like the best on our team,” said Siosan.

Porter Creek’s Evan Milenk and Christian Ouimet scored 18 and 10 points, respectively, in the final and were named All-Stars.

The Rams and the Crusaders both finished with 3-1 records in the Super Hoops regular season, but the Rams got the bye to the final, having beat the Crusaders by more points than when the Crusaders later beat the Rams.

The Crusaders breezed into the final with an 80-45 win over the F.H. Collins Warriors on Monday. Warriors Malcolm Muir and Hughie Fordyce-Fortune were named All-Stars on Tuesday after the final.

The Crusaders will try to make it five in a row at the Yukon Basketball Championships in two weeks.

“We’ve had a lot of great players come through, many of them have been coached by coach (James) Shaw, coach (Tim) Brady, coach (Mark) Hureau from Porter Creek,” said McCarron. “A lot of my guys are benefiting from great coaching from beyond Vanier. It’s not just Vanier, it’s Basketball Yukon and coaches in town who are helping them.”

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

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