Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by John Tonin

PLAYING OUTSIDE — In this Dec. 12, 2019 photo, F.H. Collins Warriors player, Ralph Hermosa, drives the basket during the Jamie Shaw Memorial Tournament. The Warriors travelled to B.C. last weekend to play a series of games.

F.H. Collins Warriors gain Outside experience

The F.H. Collins Warriors boys basketball team packed up their gear and headed to B.C. The team played in Salmon Arm, Kamloops and Penticton over the weekend.

By John Tonin on February 7, 2020

The F.H. Collins Warriors boys basketball team packed up their gear and headed to B.C. The team played in Salmon Arm, Kamloops and Penticton over the weekend.

F.H. coach Andrew Jansen said it was an up and down weekend. The boys started their trip through B.C. against a team from Salmon Arm. Jansen said in an email the game did not go according to plan.

The boys were super nervous and scared before our first game in Salmon Arm,” wrote Jansen. “We struggled to compete and played one of our worst games of the year. We had just gotten off the plane, which may have contributed a little to it, but we were mentally not prepared.”

The Warriors hit the road from Salmon Arm and next played Friday in Kamloops. Jansen said they came out strong, taking a 10-2 lead early but the opponent was a strong outside shooting team.

“We don’t have that in the Yukon, so we didn’t close out far enough and gave the other team some really good looks at three,” said Jansen in his email.

After the first quarter, the Warriors were up by a small margin, but in the second and third stanzas, their opponent began to heat up from the outside.

“In the second and third quarters their shooters got hot, and we didn’t know how to mentality respond. There was a three-minute stretch when a 5’4 kid (who is not an amazing athlete at all) hit four threes against us in the third quarter. We struggled after that and ended losing by 22.”

The team lost a game due to a power outage caused by a heavy windstorm, so the final game of their trip was played in Penticton.

Jansen said it was the toughest competition the boys had seen.

“We came out super, super flat,” wrote Jansen. “The team was the strongest team we played there. They had a couple players who were better than any player we have in the Yukon.

“We were down 15-2 early, and we were down by 27 points at halftime, but in the third quarter, the boys started to compete more, especially physically. Our goal was to win the second half and we were able to do that as we only lost by 20.”

Jansen said it was a good learning experience for the team, and outlined aspects of their game they need to improve upon. The first was competing on every play, not taking a single possession off.

“This is something that a lot of the players will do in the Yukon, whether it’s taking a possession off, or not working as hard as they should, and no one really takes advantage of them in the Yukon, so they get away with it,” said Jansen.

The next eye-opener for the Warriors was the physicality of the game.

“It was new for them. Jeremy McCulloch (the other coach) and I had kept telling them over and over again they needed to compete more physically, but they never truly understood what it meant until this weekend.

“I believe at the end of the weekend, they started to understand what he and I have been telling them for the past couple of years.”

The last thing Jansen said the team learned was understanding their “false confidence.”

“Our boys get away with stuff in the Yukon because they are either more athletic than the opposing player or simply more skilled, so they make bad decisions, but the result ends up being good because the opposing player is able to stop them.

“That was not the case this weekend. Our players were punished when making bad decisions.”

Jansen used their game in Penticton as an example.

“We probably had 10 turnovers in our first 20 possessions, because the team was jumping passing lanes and being aggressive on defence, which is something our boys had never really seen before. By the second half, they were making better decisions.”

Jansen said the boys realized if they had more games against competition as they played in B.C., they would be at their skill level.

The Warriors will have to keep their bags packed as they are back on the road in 10 days. They will be heading to Edmonton to vie in the Tri Prov tournament at Harry Ainlay High School.

Jansen said it’s one of the best tournaments in western Canada.

“It will be significantly better competition than we faced this weekend. This past weekend was the first step towards going and competing there.”

Comments (1)

Up 5 Down 1

Paula F on Feb 8, 2020 at 7:58 am

Whitehorse Star please stop the ridiculous use of the word “Outside” with a capital O to describe Yukoners doing something in another jurisdiction. Maybe this made sense when you had to leave Yukon on a dog sled but it’s 2020. As a born and raised Yukoner, I have never understood why our newspapers use this word in this way.

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