Title: Jasper Place Rebels conquer Totem Hoop Classic
Date: December 9, 2012
Original Source: The Edmonton Journal
Synopsis: I am doing a short internship over the holidays at The Edmonton Journal. My latest piece was a quick post-tournament wrap for a local high school basketball tourney. This article appears in the Dec. 10 print edition of the Edmonton Journal.
EDMONTON – When Tyler Wilde hung on the rim and slapped a Jasper Place sticker on the backboard during Friday’s slam dunk contest, the message couldn’t have been clearer: For the first time in the 20-year history of the Totem Hoop Classic, the Rebels were ready to put their mark on the high school basketball tournament.
The Jasper Place boys’ team did just that, rolling to the title with a 103-71 victory over Winnipeg’s Sturgeon Heights Huskies on Saturday night. The Rebels used their explosive offensive attack, swarming defence and a 20-0 run to start the third quarter, as they pulled away from the Huskies after a closely contested first half.
Prior to this year, the Rebels had never participated in the tournament, hosted annually by Ross Sheppard High School, and Ross Sheppard had never appeared in Jasper Place’s REB Tournament, the 2012 version of which takes place next weekend. The teams buried the hatchet off the court, welcoming each other into their respective tournaments.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Rebels head coach Matt Burrows. “They’re a rival of ours, but they’ve been great. Very hospitable.”
But Wilde’s dunk contest theatrics displeased the Ross Sheppard crowd. They were equally disappointed when Jasper Place’s Arran Chambers took home the slam dunk crown and when the Rebels held up the championship trophy. Perhaps even more disappointing for spectators was that the two rival schools didn’t get to square off, after Sheppard lost to Sturgeon Heights earlier in the draw.
Instead, the host Thunderbirds took home the bronze, dispatching of the Harry Ainlay Titans in an exciting 81-76 contest Saturday afternoon.
“Obviously, we would have liked to be in the final,” said Sheppard coach Dave Youngs, who has coached the boys team for all 20 years the tournament has been in existence. “But we’re inexperienced and we showed a lot of growth. So we’re happy with the weekend.”
On the girls’ side of the draw, the final came right down to the wire. Tournament most valuable player Geri Anstice found herself at the free-throw line with no time left on the clock and her Archbishop Jordan Scots trailing by a point to the Spruce Grove Panthers. Anstice sank both free throws, causing her teammates to rush the floor and celebrate their 40-39 championship victory.
The host Thunderbirds were also in the bronze medal game on the girls’ side, but came up short against Harry Ainlay, losing 60-47.
Earlier in the weekend, Sydney Kumar of Spruce Grove won the Hot Shot challenge. Darin Smigorowsky of Jasper Place took home MVP honours for the boys.