Vanier Catholic Secondary has a surplus of championship banners to be hung in the gymnasium. The athletics department has fallen behind in hanging them and the school just got three more.
The Vanier Crusaders won three out of four titles at the Yukon Basketball Championships, hosted by Basketball Yukon and the Yukon Schools’ Athletics Association last weekend.
The Crusaders won the junior boys and senior girls titles, then finished the championships by winning its fourth consecutive senior boys title at Vanier on Saturday.
“I didn’t talk about it until halftime, reminding them, other than going undefeated and finishing a successful season, we were also going for our fourth senior title in a row,” said Crusaders head coach Sean McCarron. “Three quarters (of the team) are graduating, so we did want to win for a number of reasons. Mainly because we put a lot of time and energy trying to be successful. To see it play out was pretty satisfying.”
The Crusaders won the senior boys title with a 95-68 win over the Porter Creek Rams in front of a packed house. Vanier jumped out to a 7-0 lead and held it until half. They finished the third quarter up 69-56 before running away with the game in the fourth, scoring 26 points.
“It’s definitely a very humbling win,” said Crusaders co-captain Chris Carino. “Throughout the season we were trying not to become complacent and keep our feet on the ground with big margin wins. And make the other team better and play to our standards. At the end it’s all about how we play as team.”
Not only was it Vanier’s fourth straight senior boys title, the win over the Rams was the final touch on a perfect season. The Crusaders went undefeated, also winning the Whitehorse high schools’ Super Hoops title.
“The cohesiveness of the team, people knowing their roles, knowing they have to cheer, score, rebound,” said Carino, when asked for the source of the team’s success. “People embracing their roles on the team.”
The Crusaders secured the title, and honours. Three of the five championship All-Stars named were Crusaders, as well as the MVP.
Ian New, RJ Siosan and Josh Tobias were named All-Stars and Carino MVP.
Carino led the game in scoring with 42 points with seven three-pointers. Siosan put 25 on the board and Tobias 23.
All four Crusaders played on Yukon’s bronze-winning team at the 2014 Arctic Winter Games in Fairbanks, Alaska.
“Most of our guys have been playing for Basketball Yukon the last few years and that helped develop our game together, and knowing each other on and off the court,” said Carino, who graduates this spring. “It’s definitely nice to finish off on good note.”
Porter Creek’s Chris Neysoo, Brad Jacobson and Pierre Lafever each scored 13 points in the final.
The F.H. Collins Warriors took the bronze.
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Hughie Fordyce-Fortune (Warriors)
Chris Neysoo (Rams)
Ian New (Crusaders)
RJ Siosan (Crusaders)
Josh Tobias (Crusaders)
MVP Chris Carino (Crusaders)