Forty-three teams were whittled down to six champions as the 2019 Bball Nationals wrapped up on Thursday.
For four days, top club basketball teams hit the hardwood to determine the club champions in the U13, U15 (Elite and All-Star), U15 (Elite and All-Star), U17 (Elite and All-Star) and Open divisions.
“The biggest word I have heard is fun, and for me to hear that, makes me very happy,” said Darcy Coss, the executive director and events manager for Front Court Events, who stage the annual club basketball championships.
“These are kids at the end of the day and it is important they have fun. Any sport you play, you want to have fun because if you have fun, you will continue to do it.”
U13 CBA 55 VK Basketball Black 50
In a tight game from start to finish, it was the Calgary Basketball Academy (CBA) scoring the final five points to snap a tie game and defeat VK Basketball Black 55-50.
Neither team had a lead larger than four points until the very end but CBA was able to take advantage from the foul line, sinking 22-of-36 from the charity stripe compared to VK’s 15-for-33.
Lauren Wagner led the Calgary squad with a dozen points and Natalie Allison chipped in with 11.
VK’s Avery Sussex led all scorers with 23 points while Grace Bradshaw had 11, including a trio of three-pointers.
U15 All-Star (Tier 2) Vancouver United U14 35 Delta Force Athletics U14 34
It was a defensive battle in the U15 championship game with Vancouver United erasing an early 9-2 deficit on their way to a slim 35-34 victory over Delta Force Athletics.
The teams combined for just 27 points in the first half and Vancouver United ahead 14-13 and the second half was much of the same as neither team could generate separation.
Vancouver United led for much of the second half and when Delta Force Athletics did rally to reclaim the lead 34-32, they scored the game’s final points, all from the free throw line in the 35-34 win.
Hannah Smith had 16 points and Kayleigh McHardy had all eight of her points in the second half for the winners while Katerina Staley led DFA with 11 points.
U15 Elite (Tier 1) FYBA Basketball 66 VK Basketball Black 53
FYBA (Fundamental Youth Basketball Association) Basketball built an early commanding lead, up 29-9, and then withstood a furious rally from VK Basketball Black in the U15 Elite Championship final to win 66-53.
VK had the deficit down to a dozen points at the half and then cut the lead to six points with a few minutes to play. But the Okanagan visitors weren’t rattled, doing a great job of breaking their opponent’s pressure to close the game on an 7-0 run.
Phoebe Molgat and Kanani Koon each scored 17 points for the victors while Stella LaGrange had nine and Paris Kirk chipped in with eight points.
VK was led by Malia Lenz and Caitlin Kippan who each had 14 points and 10 points from Alexis Hart.
U17 All-Star (Tier 2) VK Basketball 69 Jabogs 49
After the teams traded baskets in the early going, VK Basketball broke things open with a 34-14 surge spanning the first and second halves. From there, they never looked back, defeating Jabogs 69-49 in the U17 All-Star Division championship game.
Marah Dykstra led VK with 16 points while Sydney Bradshaw had a dozen and Lainey Shelvey chipped in with nine.
Franscine Basiga and Lucy Caldwell each had 13 points for the Jabogs.
U17 Elite (Tier 1) VK Basketball Black 70 Team Saskatchewan 60
Up a basket in the second half, VK Basketball Black rattled off a 12-4 run and never looked back, capturing the U17 Elite Division title 70-60 over the Saskatchewan Girls Provincial Team.
VK Basketball only trailed twice the entire game and both times it was by just a single point.
The team used a balanced attack with five scorers in double digits, led by Makenna Gardner’s 16 points (a dozen of which came from beyond the arc) while Marin Lenz and Surprise Munie both had 15 points and Shemaiah Abatayo and Gemma Cutler each had 10.
Saskatchewan’s trio of Cara Misskey, Sydney Milum and Kennedy Hollinger each chipped in with 11 points.
Open Cascades 84 Venue Kings 75
Tied at 65 in the second half, the Cascades closed the game on a 19-9 run to capture the Open Division title 84-75 over Venue Kings.
Deanna Tuchscherer scored 23 points while Nikki Cabuco connected on four shots from beyond the arc to finish with 15 points in the victory as the Cascades survived a three-point barrage from Venue Kings’ Emma Kramer. Kramer struck for seven three-pointers on her way to a game-high 27 points. Jessica Wisotzki added 17 points in the defeat as well.
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