Exuberant and avid junior hoopsters held court at the 3-on-3 Youth Basketball Tournament at the Coombs Fairgrounds Gymnasium on May 1.
Ten teams from Parksville, Qualicum Beach, Nanaimo and Port Alberni participated in the popular spring hoopla, which was organized by the Arrowsmith Recreation Community Association.
The annual event, which was in its third year, was part of the many activities lined up by the Regional District of Nanaimo for Celebrate Youth Week.
The tournament featured some tight matches, including some that had to go into sudden death. In the end, it was the Warriors of Nanaimo who finished first, with an 11-3 victory over the Big Ls of Dover Bay, who went through two overtime games in order to reach the final.
The Warriors, consisting of Jake Seaman, Ryan Seaman and Owen Denholm, used their three-point arsenal and inside game to dominate their opponents in the tournament. En route to the final, they beat the Tropics 15-12 and the Ravens 15-8.
The Big Ls of Bryce Volen, Mikail Waagner and Monty Hopkins in the early rounds had to overcome the Beasting Ballers from Parksville, 9-8, in sudden-death play.
In their semifinal game against the Filipinos, the Big Ls had to work extra hard again. The Filipinos, consisting of Joseph Delmo, Nathan Caromay and Gab Aquino, fought hard and nearly got the win when the smallest player in the tournament was able to drive the lane, but his bank shot bounced out of the rim. Big Ls’ Waagner sank the winning shot to help his team advance to the final.
In the consolation round, the surprise winners were the only girls team in the tournament, the Port Alberni 30s, who beat the Beasting Ballers 15-11 in the final.
The Port Alberni trio of Neve Watts, Trinity Charleson and Jennifer Taylor, playing with no substitutes, fended off a late comeback by the Beasting Ballers, consisting of Gabriel Lipsey, Hayden Lecain, and Bryce Philips.
With her team’s lead whittled down to just two points, 13-11, the 30s’ Taylor, who had been very effective all tourney from rainbow country, sank a basket from behind the arc to end the Beasting Ballers’ rally and win the top prize in the consolation round.
ACRA recreation coordinator Kim Longmuir said the association was happy with the way the tournament went this year.
“This exciting evening of fast and friendly basketball was a pleasure for the ACRA to organize and host,” said Longmuir. “I was particularly impressed by the sportsmanship and enthusiasm of all the teams. An event like this is not possible to host without the generous support of community volunteers and businesses.”