Members of the Haisla Pride took home the Intermediate division championship after defeating the defending champions from the Friendship House.

Members of the Haisla Pride took home the Intermediate division championship after defeating the defending champions from the Friendship House.

Friendship House falls to Kitamaat in Intermediate final

The Kitamaat Haisla Pride won their final game on Saturday against the Friendship House Tribesmen from Prince Rupert, and are now the 2011 champions in the intermediate division of the 52nd Annual All-Native Basketball Tournament.

The Kitamaat Haisla Pride won their final game on Saturday against the Friendship House Tribesmen from Prince Rupert, and are now the 2011 champions in the intermediate division of the 52nd Annual All-Native Basketball Tournament.

The victory brought a kind of ecstasy to the team’s large and impassioned cheering section.

In the first quarter the scores between the two teams kept in pace with one another. There were some foul shots awarded to both sides but near the end Prince Rupert managed to pull ahead of Kitamaat to end the quarter with a score of 16 -12.

In the second quarter Rupert managed to widen their lead up to nine points. The game started to get rough and Kitamaat player Darren Metz was sent flying backwards when he was hit by a Rupert player as he charged towards the net. Around half way through the quarter Kitamaat started to recover lost ground and the score was tied with 2:30. The quarter ended with a close score of 30 – 27.

For most of the third quarter the teams remained tied, with 4:15 left on the clock the score was tied at 41 points each. Rupert player Bruce Hill Jr. broke away from the rest of the players for an undefended two-point shot and Kitamaat players Darren and Daniel Metz showed some impressive passing skills that kept the defense off balance. In the later part of the quarter, Kitamaat began to take the lead and ended with an 11 point lead with a score of 58 – 47.

In the fourth quarter Kitamaat kept with the momentum they had built up in the previous one and kept widening their lead over Rupert. Darren and Daniel Metz continued to impress with their creative passing. In one instance, Darren faked a jumper and faked a shot at the basket while a Rupert player tried to block, and instead he passed to Daniel who is directly behind him who then sinks the basket for two points. Kitamaat maintained its lead and they finished the game with a score of Kitamaat 76 – Prince Rupert 63

Kitamaat’s coach, Mike Risdale says that it was the team’s perseverance and focus that got them to the top.

“In past years [the team] have let things get to them, like calls against us. This year we focused on not paying too much attention to calls we thought were unwarranted by the officials. We tried to leave them alone as best we could and just focus on playing basketball,” said Risdale.

Daniel Metz from Kitamaat was recognized as this year’s Most Valuable Player in the intermediate division.

“It’s unreal. Nothing I’ve ever experienced in my life compares to when that final buzzer went off. I can’t put into words how the team was feeling,” said Metz.

The All-Stars of the intermediate division were:

Prince Rupert: Adrian Robinson, Glenn Blandov Jr.

Kitamaat: Darren Metz, Quentin Nyce

North Shore: Graylon Martin, Desmond Pack

Vancouver: Jaime Ross, William Edwards

Skidegate: Matt Gladstone Cole Edinger