Saints complete perfect season

The St. Andrew’s Saints accept the Darrell Willier trophy after winning the Smoky River Junior High School Basketball League title. Left-right are Macey Shaw, Kendyl Backs, Daisy Porisky, presenter Terry Roller, Georgia Boerchers and Madison Price.

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

They were clearly the class of the league during the regular season and heavy favourites to win it all.

And it’s exactly what the St. Andrew’s Saints did Feb. 23-24 after winning both its games and the Smoky River Junior High School Basketball League title. It’s the team’s second title in 21 years after going the first 18 years of the league without a crown.

The league title was not the only hardware won. The Saints also won the High Prairie School Division title in the process as the two championships tournaments were combined.

The Saints defeated the Donnelly G.P. Vanier Vipers 30-17, then met crosstown rival Prairie River in the final, which they won 40-32.It marked the sixth straight win over PRJH this season for the Saints.

GPV defeated the Gift Lake Hurricanes 40-34 to advance to play the Saints, who earned a bye with their top seed. The Saints jumped out to an 8-5 first quarter lead, then played perfect defence in blanking the Vipers in the second quarter to lead 18-5.

Brooke Gauchier scored 10 points to lead the Saints while Macey Shaw added six. Elle MacIntosh and Ella Deering each chipped in with four points while Georgia Boerchers, Madison Price and Abby Cottingham each added two.

Jenna Brulotte had eight of the Vipers’ 17 points.

The final was a hard-fought affair. The teams were tied 11-11 in the second quarter but the Saints pulled away to lead 25-17 at the half.

In the second half, four times the Raiders closed the gap to six points, but the Saints always had an answer. Three times, they built their lead back up to eight points within 30 seconds of a PRJH basket as the Raiders just couldn’t close the gap to four points to make the Saints sweat a little.

Ella Deering led the attack with 13 points while Shaw added 11. Daisy Porisky scored seven points and Cottingham four. Madison Price’s three points and Finn Marko’s pair completed the scoring.

PRJH’s scoring leader board read like someone counting in reverse. Sadee Cunningham had eight points, Kelly Stewart seven, Naomi Strebchuk six, Rachelle Lemay five, and Danelle Gacuya four. Alyssa Gray added the other two points.

PRJH reached the final after defeating the Kinuso Knights 51-24. The Knights earlier defeated the Atikameg Warriors 32-23 to reach the semi-finals.

Strebchuk had a game-high 17 points for PRJH while Lemay added 12. Gray and Stewart each scored eight.

Keanna Locke also had a game-high 17 points to lead the Knights. Sierra McGillvray scored four points, Mya Giroux two and Sierra Sheldon added a free throw.

In their win over Atikameg, Locke led the way with 13 points. Skye Michalchuk added six and McGillvray five.

Afeni Laboucan led the Warriors with 17 of the team’s 23 points. McKesha Laboucan scored four points and Destiny Letendre two.

In other games, the Hurricanes outgunned the Knights 49-43. Courtney Anderson led the way for the Hurricanes with 16 points while Ocean Anderson added 15, including two three-point shots. Naomi Calahaison added eight points and Desiree Sawan six.

Locke did most of the damage for the Knights scoring 24 points while Sheldon added 18. Michalchuk added the other point.

In GPV’s win over Gift Lake to open the tournament, Darby Heckbert scored 13 points while Hannah Sasseville added 11.

Sawan scored 12 points to lead the Hurricanes while Kali Cunningham added 10.

In GPV’s win over Atikameg, Heckbert scored seven points, Brulotte and Sasseville six points each. Emily St. Laurent, Mackenzie Parker and Jessina Goodswimmer added four points each.

Afeni Labcouan had four points to lead the Warriors while Letendre, McKesha Laboucan and Dez Whitehead added two points each.

The St. Andrew’s Saints pose with the Smoky River Junior High School Basketball League championship trophy [Darrell Willier Trophy] and the High Prairie School Division trophy. In the front are captain Daisy Porisky and assistant captain Macey Shaw. Sitting, left-right, are Sage Keay, Abbie Cottingham, Finn Marko, Heidi Porisky and Jessica Gordon. In the back row, left-right, are assistant coach Christian Collette, Kendyl Backs, Elle MacIntosh, Brooke Gauchier, Ella Deering, Georgia Boerchers, Madison Price, and head coach Wade Deering.
The Prairie River Raiders placed second in the league tournament. In the front row, left-right, are Faith Fortier, Erica Glanville, Cassidy Barry, and Daneira Dominguez. In the middle row, left-right, are Kura Stout, Anna Nobert, Amira Sharkawi, Rachelle Lemay, Naomi Strebchuk, Sadee Cunningham, Makenna Carifelle, and Alyssa Gray. In the back row, left-right, are co-coach Jessie Johnson, Ciara Abstreiter, Danelle Gacuya, Marie Chalifoux, Kelly Stewart, Mya Cardinal, Morgan Willier, Jada Auger, and co-coach Noela Vandermeulen.


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