The 9th Annual Hoopfest BC Tournament presented a changing of the guard (pun slightly intended) as for the first time in tournament history a team other than The School or Runnin’ Rebels was crowned Men’s Division Champion, while on the Women’s side the continued growth leads to promise for local female ballers down the road. Over the course of August 17/18th, 8 men’s and 5 women’s teams from throughout the Lower Mainland filled the Langley Events Centre Field House for the largest Hoopfest BC field in tournament history. While the on court action was not only a resounding success, this talented collection of players came together to raise $710 for Kidsport Langley through the GET BUCKETS program.
Last year, Athelite suffered a two point loss to the Runnin’ Rebels in the tournament championship game. This year they extracted their revenge by not only knocking off the defending champs with a convincing 80-61 victory in the semi finals, but also by finishing the job in the final game, defeating the Spartans 91-80, in a hard fought championship tilt.
Already familiar with each other from their round robin matchup on Saturday morning, one which saw the Spartans squeak out an 82-80 victory, the two teams entertained the largely Athelite influenced crowd in the final game of the tournament. With both teams laced with talent in the paint and on the perimeter, the Spartans were able to jump out to an early four point lead, one that wouldn’t last very long. Led by the veteran inside presence of Andrew Sturgeon and Andy Kaila, Athelite slowly turned that four point deficit into their favor by the halftime break. While the experienced players manned the paint, it was the surprise of the tournament on the perimeter that helped Athelite clinch the title, as Sukhjot Bains, a grade 12 guard out of Tamanawis Secondary, played at a level expected of a player many years older.
Although down, the Spartans were down, they were not out, as the Ontario duo of Mark Perrin and Denny McDonald, both heading into their fourth year at Trinity Western, kept the game within reach during the final twenty minutes. However despite the Spartans best efforts, they closest that they could bring the scoreboard was a seven point difference. Fueled by the knowledge that they fell short last summer and motivated by hunger this year, Athelite put the game out of reach with a seven point run during the last five minutes to put the game out of reach and the championship on ice.
In the sophomore season, the Women’s Division saw a huge boost in the level of competition as three local CCAA schools and a CIS program joined a team mixed with a number of collegite and university players to compete over the two day tournament. While the UFV Cascades had a relatively uncontested route to the playoffs and eventually the championship, the opportunity for them as well as the Douglas Royals, Langara Falcons and Columbia Bible College Bearcats to help promote ladies basketball on the summer hoops circuit was invaluable. Using the opportunity to get a jump on off season training and chemistry building was viewed as a huge benefit by all the players and their coaches.
Led by the duo of Sarah Wierks (currently entering her fourth year) and Katie Brink (entering her second season), the Cascades opened up an eighteen point advantage on the younger Royals. While the lead was insurmountable, the opportunity for the Royals players to compete against a higher level of talent will only help the New Westminster school as the CCAA season progresses. Although the final 71-39 score may have been lopsided, the efforts by both teams continue to help build awareness for women’s basketball.
TOURNAMENT AWARDS: (Both Men’s and Women’s Divisions received the same awards packages)
Champions ($400 Cactus Club Gift Certificate, 2 Cineplex Movie Passes per player, 204 Customs T-Shirt)
Men – Athelite
Women – UFV Cascades
Tournament MVP ($100 Cactus Club Gift Certificate, 4 month Steve Nash/Fitness World VIP pass, Baden Basketball and backpack, 204 Customs apparel package)
Men – Andrew Sturgeon (Athelite)
Women – Sarah Wierks (UFV Cascades)
Tournament All-Stars ($25 Cactus Club Gift Certificate, Vancouver Giants game pass, Baden Basketball and binder)
Men – Colin Plumb (El Swampo), Diego Kapelan (Runnin’ Rebels), Denny McDonald and Mark Perrin (Spartans)
Women – Katie Brink (UFV Cascades), Jessica Jazdarehee (2Legit2Quit), Denise Busayong (Falcons), Simran Bir and Kenny Whitney (Royals)
GAME RECAPS (Player of the Game Awards provided by McDonald’s)
Falcons 64 vs. Bearcats 62 (POG – Denise Busayong, Falcons)
Cascades 88 vs. 2Legit2Quit 37 (POG – Aieisha Luyken, Cascades)
Spartans 82 vs. Athelite 80 (POG – Mark Perrin, Spartans)
TRU 99 vs. Islanders 63 (POG – Reece Pribilsky, TRU)
Runnin’ Rebels 77 vs. VIU 61 (POG – Diego Kapelan, Runnin’ Rebels)
El Swampo 95 vs. NEC Nighthawks 49 (POG – Colin Plumb, El Swampo)
Cascades 89 vs. Bearcats 20 (POG – Katie Brinks, Cascades)
Royals 60 vs. 2Legit2Quit 58 (POG – Courtnie Martin, Royals)
Athelite 81 vs. TRU 73 (POG – Andrew Sturgeon, Athelite)
Islanders 94 vs. Spartans 89 (POG – Javari Williams, Islanders)
Runnin’ Rebels 114 vs. El Swampo 83 (POG – Jason Keegstra, Runnin’ Rebels)
VIU 75 vs. NEC Nighthawks 62 (POG – Mark Promophile, VIU)
2Legit2Quit 56 vs. Bearcats 47 (POG – Jessica Jazdarehee, 2Legit2Quit)
Royals 64 vs. Falcons 47 (POG – Kenny Whitney, Royals)
Athelite 94 vs. Islanders 78 (POG – Graeme McCallum, Athelite)
Spartans 85 vs. TRU 84 (POG – Mark Perrin, Spartans)
Runnin’ Rebels 104 vs. NEC Nighthawks 72 (POG – Kurt Osborne)
El Swampo 84 vs. VIU 73 (POG – Alan Hogan, El Swampo)
Cascades 86 vs. Falcons 35 (POG – Sarah Wierks, Cascades)
Royals 68 vs. Bearcats 57 (POG – Simran Bir, Royals)
Men’s Playoffs First Round
Spartans 110 vs. NEC Nighthawks 71 (POG – Jesse Jeffers, Spartans)
TRU 83 vs. El Swampo 73 (POG – Chaz Kok, TRU) *El Swampo advanced to semi finals despite the loss*
Runnin’ Rebels 86 vs. Islanders 80 (POG – Diego Kapelan, Runnin’ Rebels)
Athelite 95 vs. VIU 58
Cascades 66 vs. Royals 36 (POG – Sarah Wierks, Cascades)
Falcons 79 vs. 2Legit2Quit 73 (POG – Miranda Cuthbertson, Falcons)
Men’s Playoff Semi Finals
Spartans 111 vs. El Swampo 59 (POG – Taylor Heinrichs, Spartans)
Athelite 80 vs. Runnin’ Rebels 61
Women’s Championship Game
Cascades 79 vs. Royals 31
Men’s Championship Game
Athelite 91 vs. Spartans 80
With the 10th Annual Hoopfest Anniversary Tournament on the horizon, tournament organizers (and on behalf of our partner Basketball BC) would like to congratulate and thank all the teams, participants and fans for helping make this summer a great success! A special thank you to our sponsors (Baden Canada, Cactus Club, McDonald’s, Punum Designs, Steve Nash/Fitness World, Cineplex Entertainment, St. John Ambulance Brigade, Vancouver Giants and Langley Times) for all your continued support and helping to make the event possible. To the BCBOA officials, game scorekeeping staff and the Langley Events Centre for all the great work, time and effort.
For those who have participated in the past and in the present, Centrecourt would like to extend an invitation to come celebrate our 10th Anniversary Tournament next August!