The fifth annual Lights Out Yukon Invitational Basketball Tournament was in Whitehorse from Jan. 17 to 19 with games at F.H. Collins and Porter Creek secondary schools.
Hosted by the Yukon Men’s Basketball League and the Whitehorse Women’s Basketball League, this year’s edition was the largest ever with 14 total teams — eight in the men’s bracket and six in the women’s bracket.
Teams came from across the territory, with the True North Allstars also making the trek from Inuvik to compete. This was the first year without any Alaskan teams.
On the court, round robin play happened on Jan. 17 and 18, setting up the start of the playoffs in the evening on Jan. 18 and concluding with both men’s and women’s finals on the afternoon of Jan. 19.
In the women’s final, the Terminators defeated the Top Guns 62-42 in the finals.
Up 15-3 after the first quarter and 33-9 at halftime, the Terminators looked poised to run away with the game before the Top Guns made a large run in the third quarter.
The Top Guns outscored the Terminators 25-12 in the third, thanks in large part to 15 points in the quarter from Sky Hodgson — including an improbable line-drive half-court shot at the buzzer.
In the fourth, the Terminators righted the ship as Cailin Crosby poured in seven of her game-high 25 points to lead her team to a 20-point victory.
Other top scorers for the Terminators were Nat Gionet and Kate Olynyk with 14 points each.
Hodgson finished with 21 for the Top Guns and Allison Cunningham added six points.
The men’s final was up next and the Billy Goats beat the Tropics 86-64 to win the tournament.
After the first quarter, the Tropics were up 27-21 on the back of strong quarters from Ryan Walker with 11 points and Colin LaForme with nine points.
The Billy Goats continued their balanced scoring in the second, making the halftime score 42-41 in their favour.
It stayed close for the first five or six minutes of the third, until Billy Scott started to pour in three-pointers for the Billy Goats.
“(Scott) had like three threes in a row and just kind of opened it up,” said LaForme. “Then it was just one of those games where you’re down by 15 and you battle back and battle back — they score a couple and you score a couple.”
The tournament included a $1,250 cash prize for first place, $500 for second place and $250 for third place.
Contact John Hopkins-Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org