WINNIPEG,MB–The Manitoba Club Championships took place this past weekend (May 13th-15th) and 65+ teams took the floor at the University of Manitoba and University of Winnipeg. At every time slot, six games were in play, maximizing the playing field. Teams from outside Winnipeg had the chance to compete giving rural teams more tournament experience against different programs they may not usually compete with.
Men U19 Championship: Winnipeg Wolverines vs. Grade 12 Jr. Bison’s
The Men’s 19U championship lived up to its hype, well at least in the first half as both teams remained fairly close in a scoring frenzy until the third quarter where the Winnipeg Wolverines pulled away to win by a score of 95-79.
It seemed as if the Wolverines had more than one point guard, as if the entire team handled the position with ease picking apart the Bison’s defence.
The Wolverines were led by Marko Milosevic who scored a game high 30 points and they slowly chipped away at the Bison’s defence which lost its step in the third.
Other key players who added to the total were Jonathan Picicci with 21 and AJ Basi who scored 10 points on the score sheet, although AJ was more valuable in other statistical categories. He racked up assists and steals throughout the game which allowed the Wolverines to pull away late.
AJ Basi talked about the victory and the tournament. “It was a good tournament and there were some young good teams. We played well in the second half and pushed away at the end”
Grade 12 Jr. Bison: Kristjan Lamont
Boys U17 Championship: Winnipeg Wolverines vs. Jr. Bison’s
Games are won and lost in the final minutes. There is no better way to sum up the U17 championship game.
The Junior Bison’s looked to be the better team throughout the entire game, holding a lead of around 10 for a majority of the game. The Wolverines led by Stephen Jones and Dillion Miranda, slowly clawed back into the game trimming the lead down to two at its lowest deficit.
The Winnipeg Wolverines were unable to finish the miraculous comeback. They put themselves into foul trouble down the stretch and missed shots when they needed to be made. While the Bison’s did not cruise to victory, they went to the charity stripe late and made it count. Andre Arruda-Welch made two clutch free throws to seal the deal. The Final score read 53-49 in favour of the Junior Bison’s
Bison’s head coach, Darryl Antymniuk, lost for words, commented on the victory after a crazy finish. “The Boys played outstanding and the guys were incredible, they held it to the end.”
Winnipeg Wolverines: Stephen Jones, Dillion Miranda
Jr. Bison: Sean Jamieson, Andre Arruda-Welch
Boys U16 Championship: Winnipeg Elites vs. Winnipeg Wolves
The heavily favoured Winnipeg Wolves managed to pull out a victory. However, it was not as easy as they expected it to be.
Entering the fourth quarter, the Wolves had a comfortable nine point lead which was dwindled down to three points as the Wolves emerged victorious 72-69.
Junior Sesay, Daniel Ayob and Ben Miller were the focal players who made a difference in the championship game.
Junior showed his elite talent causing consistent defensive attention by the Elites. His scoring ability mixed in with his athleticism and everything else he brings to the court made it extremely difficult for the Elites to hold him off the score sheet.
NPH STANDOUT: Junior Sesay
Women’s 19U Championships: Wesmen vs. Provincial Team #2
This game was not played due to the fact that these teams already met earlier in the day and decided it would be best to call the game and not play late at night. The Wesmen were declared the champs after going undefeated in the round robin play.
Other Championships Scores:
14U Girls: MB Magic – Blanca (71) – MB Magic 8 – Gagne (39)
14U Boys: Winnipeg Wolves 97’s (48) – Gr. 8 ‘A’ Mayhem (37)
15U Girls: MB Magic 9 (44) – Jr. Buckeyes (37)
15U Boys: Wolves 2 (64) – MB Magic – Dela Cruz (50)
16U Girls: Gr. 9/10 Mayhem (57) – MB Magic – Gee (50)
17U Girls: MB Magic – Barbosa (92) – JRB 11’s (66)
A positive tournament for Manitoba Basketball
Adam Wedlake, executive director of basketball Manitoba spoke about the tournament and how it helps the development of basketball in Manitoba”
“It’s a great weekend for basketball, and we are very proud to have the opportunity for Manitoba club teams to extend their season into the spring, and it’s a great chance to see the basketball community come together and give the kids another chance to enjoy the game/”
“It also helps us have teams outside Winnipeg compete against city teams, and to interact and mingle with some of the teams.
“A great opportunity to see up and coming stars who are in the system, or it gives us a chance for our provincial team coaches and us to see the next wave of players and coaches.”
“It’s a huge way to identify who is going to be tomorrows provincial team coach and the next provincial coach can become the next CIS coach and it’s the same approach for our referees and it’s a three prong approach, athletes being at our centre approach for development.”