Rams, Warriors take inaugural three on three titles

Up to now the senior basketball season started with the Early Bird Tournament, where scores aren't recorded and no winners crowned.

Up to now the senior basketball season started with the Early Bird Tournament, where scores aren’t recorded and no winners crowned. This year, the Yukon Schools Athletic Association decided to take a different route – a much different route.

Called the Show in the Snow, 21 teams took part in the three-on-three tourney, using half-court rules (i.e. one-point baskets) and 15-minute long games Saturday at Porter Creek Secondary.

“Usually it’s a five-on-five tournament at the beginning, but this three-on-three was more fun than I thought it was going to be,” said Porter Creek Ram Theoren Richards. “We played pretty solid defence and shut them down pretty good after they beat us the first time.”

In the boys’ division, Porter Creek’s PC2 team, captained by Richards and including Grade 11 players Peter Hanson and Bray Bonnycastle, defeated Vanier Catholic Secondary’s Vanier 1 team 11-7 in the final. The Vanier 1 team was victorious in the teams’ first encounter during the round-robin portion of the tournament.

“We talked with our coaches a little bit and got a bit of a strategy going,” said Richards. “I was guarding Rowan (Haggard) and he just wasn’t missing shots over me, so we put Peter, who’s taller, on him – he’s harder to shoot over.”

Tied 2-2, Bonnycastle pushed in a rebound before sinking an outside shot to go up 4-2. After a Vanier basket, Richards drained one from beyond the three-point arc (for two points), putting PC1 up 6-3.

“With half-court, there’s a lot less running,” said Richards. “As a team we try to get the fastbreaks from running, so we had to work the ball around in this game and look for open shots, so it’s a bit different.”

Bonnycastle scored seven points in the final while his teammates each got two. Haggard scored six of his team’s seven.

“Bray is just a beast down low,” said Richards. “The game plan was to give him the ball as much as we could and he’d work it down there and get easy lay-ups.

“Peter is pretty fast for how tall his is, he’s pretty lanky and can get good blocks.”

While it was all Porter Creek and Vanier during volleyball season, an FH Collins Warriors team was on top in the girls’ division.

FH1, headed by captain Helen Hedstrom-Langford, handedly defeated the girls’ PC1 team 12-3 in the final.

“It was a fun tournament. We have a lot of talent on our team this year, a lot of returning players and a lot of new players, and it’s good to have the win,” said Hedstrom-Langford. “We’re hoping to have a really good season.”

Spreading out the scoring, Hedstrom-Langford put four on the scoreboard, while teammate Nesha Wright scored five and Grade 10 player Markie-May Bailie produced three.

“There’s less running,” said Hedstrom-Langford. “It’s fun because you get the ball a lot more than when you have five players. The half-court game is different because you don’t have as much space to move the ball and playing defence is a bit different as well.”

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