by Roberta Aiken-The junior all-native tournament started out with an incredible opening ceremony hosted by 4 nations: the Tsimpsian, Nisga’a, Gitxsan and Haida. With 48 teams participating from all over the entire province and over 60 drummers the beat was incredible. When the emcee announced the three Haida teams the beat changed and I was so proud to watch our teams coming into the Lyell Island song.
This tournament has to be the most “tender” tournament to watch. Players from the ages of 17 (as of December 2006) and under – there were sure to be a lot of great fast games. And there were a lot of heartbreaking games as teams made it to the final 10. Some of them were in tears with being knocked out.
The girls from Haida Gwaii – unfortunately player Shawna Russ suffered an injury in their first game and she was unable to continue on with the team. The team played well yet were out in their first two games. This is a very young team and full of talent. These girls deserve a lot of support for their efforts.
The Massett boys played very well. In their first game, they beat New Aiyansh. In their second game, they beat Kispiox. In their third game, they suffered their first loss to Gold River. They then beat Hartley Bay. Their fifth game was an all-Haida match-up and they took another loss, giving them a final place of eighth in the whole tourney. For Masset the two boys that got player of the game recognition were Greg Brown and Adam Davis. Way to go guys.
The Skidegate Saints defeated Kitkatla in their first game, then took a loss to Ahousat. The Saints beat Kincolith in their third game and Massett in their fourth game. The fifth game was a barn burner right to the last few seconds but Skidegate had to sit back to the North Shore Wolves and took their final placing as fifth in the tourney.
Players getting recognition of player of game were: Cole Edinger, Joel Young and (I have to say proudly) Matthew Gladstone. Seems Matt dominated in points for the Saints, way to go Matt. Matt Gladstone strongly deserved an all-star and certainly averaged MORE points per game than the guy who won the high scorer award (this kid who won it averaged 18 point per game when Matt’s average was in the high 20s or low 30s).
The two players from Haida Gwaii bringing home all-stars were Cole Edinger and Greg Brown. Congrats boys and yes Greg you finally got it.
Overall this was a great time with this junior tournament, having to get to all the different gyms gave me limited time to catch all the Haida team action but I got most of it.
See you all next basketball season, anyone wanting action shots can contact me at home or email me: email@example.com
All the teams send their big THANK YOU to all the support from business and families – everyone – in helping these teams to get to and participate in this tournament.
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