Team N.W.T. stops the Gold Rush

The Lights Out Yukon Invitational Basketball Tournament has now been held in Whitehorse twice and a Whitehorse team hasn’t won it.

The Lights Out Yukon Invitational Basketball Tournament has now been held in Whitehorse twice and a Whitehorse team hasn’t won it.

After the title was brought to the Klondike last year, the title left the territory this time around.

Team N.W.T. defeated Whitehorse’s Gold Rush 71-58 in the final at Vanier Catholic Secondary School on Sunday.

“This is the first time we’ve sent a men’s team here in years,” said N.W.T.’s Damien Healy. “It’s fun to get a group of guys together to compete in a men’s tournament. We do a lot of coaching and volunteering with the kids, we travel with the kids to tournaments, but never really competed as a men’s (team). It’s fun to get out as an adult team and play.”

The two teams arrived in the final undefeated. Gold Rush led in the opening quarter, taking a 10-4 lead and finishing the first up 14-11. But the pill began to drop for N.W.T. in the second, establishing a 15-point lead at 36-21 and taking a 37-27 lead into halftime.

The Whitehorse team made up lost ground in the third, moving within five points on two free throws from Jeremy McCullough. Seconds later teammate Dave Stehelin made a steal in the N.W.T. end and capitalized to pull within three at 48-45 at the buzzer.

Team N.W.T. – made up of players from Yellowknife – opened the fourth with a 10-point run and continued to expand the gap until the end.

“It’s the way basketball goes. It’s a game that swings. They were hitting some shots when we weren’t,” said Gold Rush player and tournament organizer Colin LaForme. “It was well played both ways, well officiated, and that’s what you want in a championship. Some lead changes, some ups and downs – it makes for a good game.”

McCullough, who was named an All Star, led his team in points with 17. LaForme put 10 on the board and Stehelin eight.

N.W.T.’s Vincent Belanger led the game with 24 points, Simon Markowski had 14 and Bryan Laserich 13.

“It’s fun playing against them. They’ve got some big players,” said Healy, who is president of Basketball N.W.T. “Jeremy (McCullough) is a legitimate six-foot-11, and we don’t have a guy that tall in

Yellowknife. It’s fun playing against large big bodies. It kind of changes the flow of the game when you’re playing against someone that big.

“It was a fairly competitive game the whole way through, so we’re happy to come out on top. I appreciate them having us.”

In the third place game Sunday morning, the Whitehorse Prospectors defeated the Whitehorse Nuggets 92-80. Prospectors’ Dylan Salvisberg registered 38 points and teammate Aaron Diaz 18. Nuggets’ Will Checuti led his team with 37 points.

OCDC, an Old Crow-Dawson City team and last year’s tournament winners, defeated Yukon’s Arctic Winter Games squad 68-60 in the consolation final.

The second annual Lights Out tourney was hosted by the Yukon Men’s Basketball League, which has six teams this season.

“(The Yellowknife men’s league will) host a tournament in May and we’ll have to go and return the favour,” added LaForme. “We have a lot of guys in town playing ball now and we’re going to try to make sure we go to other tournaments so they come to ours and we create a northern basketball community.”

 

All-Stars

Will Checuti (Nuggets)

Dylan Salvisberg (Prospectors)

Alex Campbell (OCDC)

Jeremy McCullough (Gold Rush)

Morgan Gallagher (N.W.T.)

MVP Simon Markowski (N.W.T.)

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

Old Crow woman successfully appeals assault sentence that was based on her unrelated marijuana use

In his decision released Jan. 16, Justice Ron Veale called the original sentence “unfit”

Whitehorse council puts an end to quarry plans

City council unanimously votes to reject OCP amendment to allow for quarry

Team Scoffin to represent Yukon at 2018 Brier

‘It’s a thrill. It’s a dream come true’

Updated: Whitehorse daycare abruptly shuts down, leaving parents scrambling

Owners of Cheeky Monkey daycare said they had to close Jan. 13 because the CRA seized their assets

Ice, ice, baby: scaling a frozen Yukon waterfall

‘There’s a really transformative affect with adventure’

Yukon history is picture post card perfect

The most interesting gift I received at Christmas this year was the… Continue reading

Contentious Whitehorse quarry proposal raises city hackles

‘We’ve had concerns from the get-go on this one’

Extension requested for closing date on Whitehorse affordable housing complex

Challenge Disability Resource Group waiting on $7M from Yukon government before breaking ground

Sponsored Syrian families depart Yukon

‘People were able to feel they were able to make a human connection’

Thanks Northwestel

Thanks Northwestel As we pass the midway point of the futsal (indoor… Continue reading

Most Read