The question coming into the 11th Annual Hoopfest BC Tournament was centered around whether or not Athelite
could capture the much sought after "three-peat". With two titles to their name, the members of the Athelite roster knew full well that they would be walking into each game with a bullseye on their backs. After falling just short of knocking off the defending champions last year, a slightly revamped Islanders
crew had their sights set on etching their name onto the illustrious champions list, knowing full well to do so, they would have to go through AE.
With all teams playing their three round robin seeding games on Saturday morning, the first two surprises of the day came early. In the Soul In The Hole
division, newcomer SB Battle
looked solid in their victory over another new squad, Let It Fly
. Full of athleticism, SB Battle attacked early and often as the quartet of Clayton Crellin, Gabe Diggs, Gabe Gibbs
and Emerson Murray
filled the stat sheet with transition hoops and shots from downtown. The other early shocker came from the Hoops Nation
bracket as the traditionally strong Runnin' Rebels
squad was upset by a young TRU
team, led by Josh Wolfram
and Vlad Iegorov
After an early victory over the Spartans
, Athelite found themselves in a clash against SB Battle as the veteran club took one on the chin with a 108-101 defeat. With 22 points from Murray and 18 by Diggs, the victory put SB Battle in position for a first place seed in their division heading into Sunday's playoff schedule. New UBC Thunderbirds transfer Pat Simon
paced the Athelite team with 22 points, while Sukhjot Bains
, a tournament all-star last summer chipped in with 17.
Following their upset victory over the Runnin' Rebels, TRU put themselves in position on Saturday night to capture the number one seed in their division had they been successful in their meeting with the Islanders. As both teams entered their final game of the evening squaring off with identical 2-0 records, the veteran club consisting of VIU alumni Tyler Olsen, Jacob Thom
and Dakota Russell
, along with a trio of Langara Falcons, Jitt Lohcham, Elliot Mason
and Max Neumann
managed to pull out a thrilling 81-78 victory to claim the top seed and stave off the upset.
A quick turn around to Sunday morning found an undermanned Spartans team as the fourth seed from Soul In The Hole matched up with the top seeded Islanders. Although at a disadvantage with a minimal roster, Spartans guard Vartan Tanielian
put forth his best effort with 38 of his team's 58 points in a twenty point loss. After going 0-3 in their round robin schedule, Jube 19040
took the top seeded SB Battle to the limit in the second playoff game, falling short 106-94. Although featuring a veteran roster, the spotlight shined bright on the youngest member of the Jube 19040 crew. Shaggy-haired guard Miguel Tomley
, who is entering
his grade 10 year at Tamanawis Secondary and playing in his second year of the Hoopfest BC Tournament more than held his own throughout the weekend and capped it off with a 33 point effort on Sunday morning.
After defeating Athelite three years ago for the Hoopfest BC title, the Runnin' Rebels tournament success has been halted by AE ever since. This year the story featured the same result as the defending champions made it three straight playoff victories over the Rebels with a 82-72 victory to advance to the semi-finals. The final first round playoff matchup featured the most competitive game of the four as Let It Fly held on for a two point victory over TRU, thanks in large part to a team total twelve three pointers and a 16-3 run to close out the game.
The first of the two semi-finals featured a much anticipated rematch featuring Athelite and the Islanders. Although they were able to open up the game with a 13-8 lead, it would be the only advantage that the defending champions would hold throughout the remainder of the game as Islanders managed to not only counter Athelite's inside game, but also their long distance attack, one that the defending champs have become well known for. Even with a fifteen point lead with under seven minutes on the clock, there was still a feeling throughout the gym that the deficit may not be large enough as one last Athelite run was to be expected. However despite the best efforts of current UFV Cascades guard Manny Dulay
's 29 points, a third straight championship was not in the cards as the Islanders advanced to their second straight title game with an 85-79 victory.
With a lopsided loss in the round robin schedule, Let It Fly looked for revenge in their semi-final game against SB Battle and for the first ten minutes of the first half, it looked like redemption would be had thanks in large part to 17 first half points from Nick Jhajj
. However it was at that point that SB Battle turned the game around and did not relinquish their lead. Led by Clay Crellin's game high 35 points and 25 from Kenny George
, SB Battle's transition game proved to be too much as the team from Surrey once again fell in a 108-68 blowout.
In 2013, the Hoopfest BC Tournament started a charity program called "GET BUCKETS"
, which donates money for every three pointer made during games played throughout the event to the KidSport program. Sunday afternoon featured a special look at the future of the Hoopfest BC Tournament as the event showcased a U15 Exhibition
game between 204 Customs
With both squads displaying individual and team highlights, basketball in British Columbia is in good hands for the next few years. At the end of the third year of the "GET BUCKETS" program, through contributions from Basketball BC, Centrecourt and Prospera Credit Union, proudly announces that over $1100.00
has been donated towards KidSport.
For what had promise to be a closely fought championship game quickly turned one sided as the Islanders finished the weekend grind with an unblemished 6-0 record as a result of a 100-82 victory over SB Battle in the title game. As they had throughout the schedule, the Islanders were able to utilize a deep bench at all positions, often sending out two separate platoons (a'la Coach Cal), whereas SB Battle shortened their bench, which may have lead to quicker fatigue and lack of execution. Whereas their athletic ability carried them past previous opponents, SB Battle found their match with the Islanders, who were not only able to outrun but also outgun their counterparts. Led by Tyler Olsen's game high 36 points, the Islanders carried a near twenty point lead throughout the last ten minutes of the first half and all of the second half of the game. After falling one win short of their goal last summer, the Islanders opened up the second decade of the Hoopfest BC Tournament by adding their name to the elite teams in tournament history. The question now is, can they repeat?
$400 CACTUS CLUB GIFT CERTIFICATE
20 GAME PASSES TO VANCOUVER CANADIANS
10 SUPPORT ALL SOIL T-SHIRTS
UNDER ARMOUR SOCKS COURTESY OF ATO MERCHANTS
- ELLIOT MASON (ISLANDERS)
$100 CACTUS CLUB GIFT CERTIFICATE
BADEN BASKETBALL PACKAGE (Official Tournament Ball, Backpack, Golf Shirt, Binder)
1 PAIR OF VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC TICKETS
1 PAIR OF TORONTO RAPTORS / LA CLIPPERS TICKETS
1 PAIR OF SHOES COURTESY OF ATO MERCHANTS
SUPPORT ALL SOIL T-SHIRT
DRIVE365 FITNESS TRIAL MEMBERSHIP PACKAGE
- TYLER OLSEN (ISLANDERS), CLAYTON CRELLIN & GABE DIGGS (SB BATTLE), NICK JHAJJ (LET IT FLY), MANNY DULAY (ATHELITE)
$25 CACTUS CLUB GIFT CERTIFICATE
2 VANCOUVER GIANTS GAME TICKETS
BADEN BASKETBALL (Official Tournament Ball)
SUPPORT ALL SOIL T-SHIRT
DRIVE365 FITNESS TRIAL MEMBERSHIP PACKAGE
UNDER ARMOUR SLING BAG COURTESY OF ATO MERCHANTS