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MAJOR UPSET – The Vanier Crusaders senior girl’s basketball team celebrate their Super Hoops title after knocking off the defending champion F.H. Collins Warriors and handing them their first loss in two seasons.

Vanier Crusaders sweep Super Hoops titles

“It really could have gone either way but I’m very glad about how it went,” Vanier Crusaders senior girl’s basketball head coach Jane Londero said after a stunning victory in the Super Hoops final.

By Dustin Cook on February 22, 2018

“It really could have gone either way but I’m very glad about how it went,” Vanier Crusaders senior girl’s basketball head coach Jane Londero said after a stunning victory in the Super Hoops final.

The F.H. Collins Secondary School senior girl’s basketball team hadn’t lost in the Yukon in two years. They won the previous two Yukon Championships and last year’s Super Hoops title. They had already beaten the Crusaders twice this season.

But that didn’t stop Vanier from playing right to the final buzzer and pulling out the 68-66 victory in front of a packed crowd at F.H. Collins Friday night.

The game was a tightly-contested physical affair from start to finish, Londero said, with both teams in foul trouble toward the end of the game.

The Crusaders were up by one at halftime before the Warriors pulled away in the third and looking to be on their way to another title.

But outscoring the Warriors 25-10 in the final quarter, the Crusaders battled back to pull within four with two minutes left in the game.

“There was a couple of fouls and both teams in foul trouble,” Londero said. “We would get a shot in and they would get a shot.”

This back-and-forth action made it a very exciting finish for the large crowd of supporters in attendance.

“Because there was a lot of stoppage in play, there was a lot of people who came to see the boy’s game so the stands were packed the last five minutes,” Londero said.

“The crowd was just going nuts. We were trading baskets so it could have gone either way.”

Tied at 66 with 29 seconds to go, Crusaders guard Abby Cuenza was fouled and made both foul shots to put the underdog up by two. With pressure defence the Warriors were unable to get a shot off and the ball was knocked out of bounds giving the Crusaders the ball back with 13 seconds left.

After the ball got knocked out of bounds again by the Warriors with five seconds to go, the Crusaders were able to inbound and run out the clock to complete the stunning upset as the boy’s teams rushed the court to start their warmups.

“We all just sort of stood there,” Londero said. “What just happened?

“Afterwards they were just ‘I can’t believe we won Ms. Londero’ and I said ‘Girls, I’m sitting here thinking the same thing.’”

The Crusaders were the favourites on the boy’s side also having gone undefeated the last two seasons and winning six straight Yukon titles. In a high-scoring affair, a second upset didn’t happen but the Crusaders were pushed right to the end by the Porter Creek Secondary School Rams.

The Rams were in the lead in the third quarter before the Crusaders pulled away for the victory to remain undefeated.

From senior action to the elementary school courts, the Grade 7 Yukon Championships took place on the weekend as well with Christ the King Elementary School sweeping both titles.

On the girl’s side, Christ the King won the seven-team tournament defeating Whitehorse Elementary School in the final. In the 10-team boy’s tournament, the only community team made it all the way to the final. The Del Van Gorder School Falcons from Faro, with only seven team members, advanced to face Christ the King, with 11 players, with Christ the King winning to take home both Grade 7 banners.

The Yukon Championships are next on the schedule for the high school teams. The Grade 8 and Grade 9-10 tournament will be held March 1-3 with the senior tournament taking part throughout the following week culminating in the championship games March 9.

Knowing their season isn’t quite over, Londero said the Crusaders will be right back to practice in preparation for the upcoming tournament and the chance to end another Warriors’ streak.

“I think it’s really given the girls a lot of confidence so now they realize they can do it and we have two weeks to prepare,” she said.

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