The adage that the word ‘team’ stands for ‘Together Each Achieves More’ proved true for the Haisla Senior Women basketball team, who came in first in the ladies division at the Cultural Warming Kitimat/Kitamaat Basketball Tournament.
Team Captain Deanna Smith credited a spike in experience for the team over the past month which has seen them participate in four tournaments.
That experience was crucial for the women to rank where they did.
“This past weekend was our fourth tournament in a row,” said Smith. Their last tournament was in Kamloops, where they placed in second place.
Winning in a tournament down south was a big achievement for the team.
In fact they were able to defeat Nanaimo in that tournament, the same team the women lost to at the All Native Tournament in Prince Rupert.
Smith said that the Cultural Warming started a little rocky when they lost their first game by just a few points.
But their teamwork pulled together in time for a first place win.
Their skill on the court dampened the Prince Rupert Rain in the final, by 16 points.
She said this last tournament was “the end result of all the tournaments we’ve gone to because you could tell the difference between our team and the team we played in the final.”
The Haisla Braves Senior Men team came within grasp of the coveted first place spot but settled for second against Prince Rupert Lights Out.
Quinton Nyce, named as one of the tournament All Stars, said they put up a good fight in the final game and considers the tournament a success.
“We crawled our way back having a chance to win the game,” he wrote to the Sentinel. “We still forced [overtime] where we simply fell short.”
He said that the tournament brought in a good number of teams.
“We were the team the local community wanted to see win this tournament,” he said. “And we wanted to make that happen, seeing how that was our first time making the finals since the tournament started.
He said the team’s first real tough match was against Prince Rupert in the semi-final and had to fight against a 15 point trail with five minutes on the clock but the Haisla men managed to come out ahead by two points.
In the final he said Prince Rupert did well by playing the first half more efficiently even though the Haisla had a one point lead at the half’s close.
“We played tough,” he said.
In the Men’s Division, Prince Rupert Lights Out placed first, followed by Haisla Braves Senior Men, Rupert Ballerz, Kitkatla Warriors, Fort St. James Wolves, Haisla Two and Kispiox Bullets.
All Stars were Quinton Nyce for Haisla Braves, Andrew Nyce for Terrace Waks, Justin Adams with Lights Out, Morgan Grant for Haisla Braves, Aj Adusei for Rupet Ballerz and Most Valuable Player was Darcy Pearson with Lights Out.
In the Ladies Division, the Haisla Senior Women placed first followed by Prince Rupert Rain, Prince Rupert Thunder, Hartley Bay, Canyon Wildcats and Gingolx Ladies.
All Stars were Miranda Ross with Haisla Women, Kristen Helin with Prince Rupert Rain, Kaitlyn Smart with the Rain, Denise Wilson with the Prince Rupert Thunder and Megan Metz with Hartley Bay.
Most Valuable Player was Yvonne Campbell with the Haisla Women.