Rams, Crusaders lock horns in season openers

The 9/10 basketball regular season kicked off Wednesday with the Porter Creek Secondary Rams making the best of their home-court advantage. In a game that featured noticeable shifts in momentum, the girls’ Rams team defeated the Vanier Secondary Crusaders 35-30. In the following boys’ game, the Rams downed the Crusaders, 48-23.

The 9/10 basketball regular season kicked off Wednesday with the Porter Creek Secondary Rams making the best of their home-court advantage.

In a game that featured noticeable shifts in momentum, the girls’ Rams team defeated the Vanier Secondary Crusaders 35-30. In the following boys’ game, the Rams downed the Crusaders, 48-23.

“This (Grade) 9/10 girls’ league is very tight,” said Crusaders head coach Nicole Morgan. “All three (Whitehorse) teams are pretty evenly matched.”

In the opening game, the Crusaders found themselves down 6-4 before a nine-point run put them up 13-6 to end the first quarter, wrapping up with a steal and lay-up by Crusader Anna Rivard.

“So they had big energy push there; they were fast breaking down the floor, trying to get our offence going before they could get their defence set up,” said Morgan. “At the start of the second quarter we fell asleep

again and Porter Creek picked up momentum.

“We didn’t look very fit; we looked pretty tired.”

The Crusaders were held to just one basket in the second, but were still on top at 15-13 at half. However, an eight-point run by Ram Courtnay Greenway, ending with a jumper from the paint, put the Rams up 22-

18. They ended the third up 25-20.

“I was just saying to the girls that it seemed nobody’s head was in the game, which I can understand, coming off of Christmas vacation,” said Rams coach Jenny Imbeau. “I think that when they saw they were

losing – because we haven’t been behind yet (in the preseason) – that kind of perked their spirits up a bit.

“They started running the plays, thinking smartly about the plays and the passes. Once we started playing as a team we automatically started increasing our points.”

The game’s high scorer was Greenway with 15 points, and teammates Mikaela Lane and Linda Aranda put eight and six points up respectively.

“She knows where to be, when to be there,” said Imbeau of Greenway. “Courtnay has the height and her timing is perfect. She can get under the boards, get over her opponents and get it in the basket.”

Crusader Robyn Fortune led her team with 13, while Crusader Heather Clarke shot for eight points and Rivard shot for six.

“She’s a good outside shooter, gets up on the break and she’s in Grade 10, so she’s a little calmer when she shoots,” said Morgan of Fortune. “And she’s playing on the Arctic (Winter Games team), so she’s

getting a little more practice.

“She’s one of our key players for sure.”

 

Rams run away with game

 

With nine consecutive baskets scored against them to start the game, the Crusaders boys found themselves in a hole right from the get go.

It was with only five seconds left in the first period that Crusader Michael Hare stormed the key and tossed in a hook shot to put his team on the board. A lone Crusaders basket in the second quarter, scored by

Elias Park, left the team down 28-4 by half.

However, the Crusaders showed some life in the second half, more than quadrupling their points in the third quarter, ending with the game’s only three-pointer, put in by Crusader Albert Spycher with 26 seconds

left.

“I think we started playing better defence; they got their confidence together a bit and just settled themselves down,” said Crusaders coach Dave Thomson. “They were no longer intimidated.”

“I played the bench for the majority of the quarter,” said Rams coach Paul MacDonald. “I think some of the bench guys aren’t used to playing together; they’ve generally been on with the starters, two at a time. I

let all five of them play for four or five minutes, so I think they were just a little jittery.

“Last time we played Vanier (in the preseason Early Bird Tournament) it was true too, they won the third quarter. So maybe they turn into a better team in the second half.”

Leading the way for the Rams were Brady Bonnycastle, Alex Nadeau and Soliel Stimson, each with 10 points.

Despite the lopsided score, Spycher was the game’s top scorer with 11 points. Crusader Josh Hanson helped out with six points and Hare scored four.

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com