Skidegate Saints capture Junior All Native championship

  • Mar. 27, 2012 10:00 a.m.

submitted by Pat Byrne-The Skidegate Saints have returned victorious after capturing top spot at the Junior All Native Basketball Tournament in Port Alberni last week, defeating the Heiltsuk Nation (Bella Bella) 66-62 in a riveting final game. Twenty-two boys’ teams and 21 girls’ teams from First Nations communities all across BC traveled to Port Alberni to play in the tournament. After losing 85-82 to the Okanagan Nation Syilx, the Saints played a grueling four games on Thursday – defeating the Gingolx Sons (Kincolith) 73-36, Lax kw’alaams Hoyas (Port Simpson) 58-29, Ahousaht Wolf Pack (Vargas Island in Clayoquot Sound) 73-57 and the Prince Rupert Friendship House Beavers 76-43 – for a back door re-entry to the winners side of the tournament. On the last day in the semi final, the Saints defeated Syilx 79-32 to go to the final against Heiltsuk.Saints forward Trevor Casey and guard Nathan Vogstad were named to the All Star roster while forward Joel Richardson was chosen Tournament MVP. Mr. Vogstad contributed 20 points in the final game, with Mr. Casey adding 19 and Mr. Richardson 12. Mr. Vogstad was the tournament high scorer with 154 points in nine games for an average of 17.1 a game. Chase Samuels was named as the Tournament’s 6th Man for his contributions off the bench. “The boys played nine games altogether, and after their one loss to Sylix, they showed how bad they really wanted it,” said coach Duane Alsop. “Not only did they have to play four games in one day, but another two games on the final day. ” Alsop said the boys trained hard all year looking toward this moment.”They sure didn’t let all that time go to waste. It was a true demonstration of pride that they displayed in representing their community and nation as this was essentially for them. Without the support of our community and the Haida Nation, it would be impossible for them to even attend this tournament. “The Saints’ coaches are enjoying their second provincial title this season. Desi Collinson and Duane Alsop, playing alongside Trevor’s older brother Jared Casey, won the Senior Division of the All Native Basketball Tournament in Prince Rupert in February. Mr. Collinson garnered MVP honours at that tournament. Both coaches have come up through the Junior All-Native ranks, winning the Junior and Intermediate Divisions in 2000, 2001 and 2003 and the Intermediate Division in 2004. The Skidegate team also won the Junior Title in 2005 with Trevor’s older brother Jared on the roster.

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