The Yukon Schools Athletic Association’s Super Hoops high school basketball competition concluded on Feb. 26 with final games for both boys and girls teams at Porter Creek Secondary School in Whitehorse.
The girls final was a matchup between the F.H. Collins Secondary School Warriors and the Vanier Catholic Secondary School Crusaders, which was a guarantee after the Porter Creek Rams withdrew from the competition earlier in the year.
In the boys final, the Porter Creek Rams hosted the Vanier Crusaders.
Vanier played their way into the game with a 71-54 win against the F.H. Collins Warriors the night before in the semifinal.
Porter Creek had secured the berth in the finals with a 77-59 victory over Vanier on Feb. 20.
Next on the calendar is the Yukon Championships, set for March 8 to 12 in Whitehorse.
Warriors defeat Crusaders in girls final
The F.H. Collins Warriors girls basketball team beat the Vanier Crusaders 82-56 to win the girls Super Hoops title this year.
Things started fairly evenly, with the Warriors building a 14-8 lead by the 2:43 mark of the first quarter.
Far from capitulating, the Crusaders went on an 8-5 run with six points from Nicole Farkas to cut the Warriors lead to 19-16 after one.
In the second quarter, it was again the Warriors striking first, as a 12-3 run in the first 4:26 of the quarter put the Crusaders down a dozen.
The Crusaders went on an absolute tear in the final 5:36 of the second to tie the game 39-39, thanks in large part to 12 points in the quarter from Tish Siasan.
At halftime, Arian Batalones was carrying the load for the Warriors with 15 first-half points.
In the second half, the Warriors found another gear and pulled away quickly. The team outscored its opponent 24-5 in the third and was up 63-44 after three quarters.
While the pace of the game stayed high throughout the final frame as both teams continued to utilize presses to attempt to force turnovers, the game never got close again and the Warriors earned an 82-56 victory.
Leading the way in scoring for the Warriors were Batalones and player of the game Maren Bilsky, each with 19, and Jealyn Minguito with 14. Emma Boyd, who’s matchup opposite Farkas was the game within a game to keep an eye on, added 12.
For Vanier, it was player of the game Siosan with 21 and Farkas with 19 as the only players in double figures.
After the game, Bilsky said the win felt like nothing else she’s experienced with her teammates.
“It’s a completely different feeling because I’ve been on the senior F.H. team for four years now, and for the past two years before this we’ve lost every single final when it comes to Super Hoops,” said Bilsky. “So to finally win, especially in my senior year, feels amazing.”
She said her team was a bit down at halftime, but managed to shake off the doubt and regroup mentally for the final two quarters.
“Everyone was kind of in the mood of, ‘Oh, we’re losing. Oh, we’re tied. Oh, we’re close,’” said Bilsky. “We just needed to pump ourselves up and say we can do this – we can out hustle, we can outrun, we can work on our side of things that we can do – and that’s what we ended up doing, so I’m very proud.”
Bilsky said playing more than half the competition with only Vanier as opponents made the two teams very familiar foes.
“It’s interesting playing the same team because you learn every single aspect and every single habit that they have,” said Bilsky. “So if you know they always go to the right, if you know they always do a jab step, then you’re going to guard that way, you’re going to guard them like that. It’s a whole different level of basketball that I’m sure not many people outside of the Yukon play.”
While the Warriors have gotten the better of Vanier for most of the year, Bilsky made it clear the Warriors weren’t expecting it to be handed to them.
“The Vanier girls, they keep improving,” said Bilsky. “So they do surprise us sometimes.”
Rams beat Crusaders to win boys title
The Porter Creek Rams held the Vanier Crusaders to just 51 points to earn a 85-51 win in the 2020 boys Super Hoops final.
Both teams got off to an incredibly slow start offensively, with the Rams holding a 3-2 edge more than four minutes into the first quarter, but shots started to fall for one team as Porter Creek finished the quarter up 21-7 with eight of those points coming from Aiman Salim.
In the second quarter, the Rams continued to focus on defence and the Crusaders struggled to generate effective offense.
At halftime, the score was 38-15 for Porter Creek as the Rams had five players score in the second.
The Rams didn’t let up in the third, growing the lead to 58-31 by the end of the quarter. Offensively, the death-by-1,000-cuts approach continued as five different Rams hit field goals in the frame.
In the fourth quarter, the margin between the two teams continued to grow, despite the efforts of Vanier player of the game Jimbert Trinidad who scored seven of nine points for the Crusaders at the start of the fourth.
The Rams player of the game was Tanner Ulrich, one of 12 Porter Creek players to score at least one point in the game.
After the game, Porter Creek senior Parker Hobbis said the win had a special meaning given how close he and his teammates have come in the past.
“You know what, it’s crazy,” said Hobbis. “Especially playing for so many years and being so close every year. My senior year, being able to take the win, it’s an unbelievable feeling and I’m just glad we’re here.”
He said his team’s defence from the start was what separated the two teams on this occassion.
“One of the main differences was our defence was 100 per cent right off the beginning of the game and I think that’s what won it for us,” said Hobbis. “Just the way we worked as a team tonight.”
He said the goal was to put forward the best game possible
“I’m trying to just help out my teammates the best I can,” said Hobbils. “Work on our offense and defence as best as we can and have the best game that we possibly can.”
Leading the Rams in scoring were Salim and Kiiwaadin Swan with 15 each and Orrin White with 11.
The top scorer for the Crusaders was Gage Sweeney with 11, with seven each for Tony Kim and Trinidad.
Contact John Hopkins-Hill at email@example.com