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62nd All Native Basketball Tournament: Day 6 Recap

Similkameen women breeze their way to final; emerge as the story of the tournament

Day 6 (April 8) at the All Native Basketball Tournament (ANBT) in Prince Rupert saw the matchups for the Women’s and Masters finals decided while the Seniors and Intermediate divisions were narrowed to four remaining teams.

VIDEO: Opening day of 62nd ANBT and evening ceremonies

On the women’s side, the Similkameen Starbirds have emerged as the story of the tournament.

The Starbirds burst out the gates in the preliminary round Sunday, April 3 by pounding Kincolith (Gingolx Storm) by a score of 74-39. On Day 2 the team from the Okanagan would again put up 74 against the Hesquiaht Descendants, who scored 53.

From there the path to the final would take the Cinderella Similkameen squad through three of the four top-seeded teams in the division.

First up was fourth-seeded Vancouver All My Relations, who had received a bye into the second round and soundly knocked Massett into the elimination bracket on Day 2.

The star-studded team from the Lower Mainland, which includes 2020 ANBT women’s MVP Adelia Paul was no match for the Starbirds’ balanced attack and tight defence.

AMR, who also boast a solid defence, held Similkameen to 58, but were only able to put up 34 of their own as the Starbirds limited the sharp-shooting Paul to 8 and Vancouver standout Shenise Sigsworth to 11.

Next up was the defending champion squad from Kitimaat who had squeaked by Kitkatla in the second round 46-41.

The Starbirds crushed the top seed nearly doubling them up 64-35.

Finally, Similkameen would have to also get by second-seeded Hazelton (Gitxsan Mystics) who knocked down Gtiwinksihlkw and the host Prince Rupert Rain on their way to the semifinal in the winners bracket. In a gritty defensive battle on Thursday, the Starbirds held the Mystics to just 30 points while putting up 42 of their own.

The final will be a rematch with Vancouver, who had to fight their way through the elimination bracket knocking out Hesquiaht, Kitimaat and Hazelton along the way.

That final is the first of four that will be played today (April 9) at 1 p.m. in the Main Gym at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre.

Neither Simikameen nor Vancouver have ever hoisted the ANBT women’s championship trophy.

READ MORE: Final Day of the 2022 All Native Basketball Tournament

In the Masters Division the Gitwinksihlkw Lizards have a date with New Aiyansh (Gitmidiik Masters) to decide that championship.

The Masters breezed through the winners bracket defeating Kincolith, Prince Rupert and Gitwinksihlkw handily.

After being relegated to semifinal of the elimination bracket, Gitwinksihlkw was up to the task beating Kincolith (Sons of Kincolith) 97-75 yesterday in an offensive rout to set up the rematch with Gitmidiik today at 2:30 p.m.

READ MORE: 62nd All Native Basketball Tournament: Day 5 Recap

The Intermediate and Seniors semifinals are scheduled for this morning (April 9). On the Intermediate side the host Prince Rupert Cubs face Bella Bella (Heiltsuk Wolf Pack) for another crack at the Burnaby Chiefs who have yet to be challenged in the 2022 ANBT.

Yesterday, the Chiefs humiliated the Cubs 111-40 after bashing Prince Rupert the previous day 90-58. The final is set for 6 p.m.

The Seniors will have the honour of closing out the tournament with their final at 7:30 p.m.

In that Division, the Kitkatla Warriors await the winner of the semifinal in the elimination between the Skidegate Saints and Metlakatla AK.

Yesterday, the Warriors knocked down the defending champion Saints with an 82-69. That game was an exciting see-saw battle up until the fourth quarter when the Warriors pulled away.

Meanwhile, Metlakatla put up a big number to knock out Ahousaht (Maaqtusiis Suns) 104-78.

Day 6, Friday April 5, 2022 Results

Women’s Division

9 a.m. Vancouver All My Relations v. Kitimaat (Haisla Ladies)

Vancouver win: 57-44

Top Scorers

Vancouver: Shenise Sigsworth 20

Kitimaat: McKenna Stevens 14

2:30 p.m. Hazelton (Gitxsan Mystics) v. Vancouver All My Relations

Vancouver win: 64-32

Top Scorers

Hazelton: Taylor Wale 12

Vancouver: Shenise Sigsworth 12

Intermediate Division

9 a.m. Vancouver All Nations v. Lax Kw’alaams Hoyas

Vancouver win: 65-61

Top Scorers

Vancouver: Kallen Tait 16

Lax Kw’alaams: Lloyd Dudoward 26

11 a.m. Bella Coola (Nuxalk Braves) v. Prince Rupert Cubs

Prince Rupert win: 81-75

Top Scorers

Bella Coola: Marlon Edgar Apps 32

Prince Rupert: Rylan Adams 22

2:30 p.m. Burnaby Chiefs v. Bella Bella (Heiltsuk Nation)

Burnaby win: 111-40

Top Scorers

Burnaby: Kobe McKnight 35

Bella Bella: Dom Windsor 13

6:30 p.m. Vancouver All Nations v. Prince Rupert Cubs

Prince Rupert win: 88-76

Top Scorers

Vancouver: Carson Martin 17

Prince Rupert: Rylan Adams 30

Seniors Division

9:30 a.m. Ahousaht (Maaqtusiis Suns) v. Similkameen (Klker’miws)

Ahousaht win: 80-72

Top Scorers

Ahousaht: Luke Robinson 30

Similkameen: Sterling Peterson 21

1 p.m. Metlakatla AK v. Massett (Old Massett) Raiders

Metlakatla win: 83-75

Top Scorers

Metlakatla: Mason Hayward 24

Massett: Jordan Williams 15

4 p.m. Skidegate Saints v. Kitkatla Warriors

Kitkatla win: 82-69

Top Scorers

Skidegate: Desi Collinson 25

Kitkatla: Jacob Thom 22

8:30 p.m. Ahousaht (Maaqtusiis Suns) v. Metlakatla AK

Metlakatla win: 104-78

Top Scorers

Ahousaht: Qwammi Robinson 48

Metlakatla: Mason Hayward 25

Masters Division

10:30 a.m. Kincolith (Sons of Kincolith) v. Massett (Old Massett) Raiders

Kincolith win: 65-63

Top Scorers

Kincolith: Clint Barton 18; Graham Watts 18

Massett: Wilfred Marks 24

8:30 p.m. Gitwinksihlkw Lizards v. Kincolith (Sons of Kincolith)

Gitwinksihlkw win: 97-75

Top Scorers

Gitwinksihlkw: Andrew Nyce 26

Kincolith: Simon Gurney 17

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Thom Barker

About the Author: Thom Barker

After graduating with a geology degree from Carleton University and taking a detour through the high tech business, Thom started his journalism career as a fact-checker for a magazine in Ottawa in 2002.
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