The ANBT’s Masters Division Final pitted Old Masset against Hydaburg, in a rematch of last year’s final.
And just like in 2015, Hydaburg came out on top 76-65, in a fiercely competitive game between the two Haida clubs.
“We play the same type of game every year, work the ball, play hard, rebound, do it as a team. It seemed like they were ready this time, they played more games, but they were ready. We picked the defence up a little bit and that was the difference in the game,” said Hydaburg’s Devin Edenshaw, who took MVP honours for the Masters’ division.
“We knew it was going to be tough coming in. We had pretty much the same team, with exception to Devin joining us. It was a great game,” added Hydaburg guard Joe Young after the game.
Both Haida teams started the game with intensity, contesting every possession like it was their last.
Devin pushed the pace of the game. This helped Hydaburg get out to an early 12-6 lead. He would penetrate and kick the ball out to the open guy, or find Sid Edenshaw in the high post who would find the cutter or shoot himself. This kept Old Masset guessing.
For pure athleticism, Devin had the most at his disposal. But athleticism can only take you so far, he also has the IQ to go with it and lets the game come to him.
It was obvious that Hydaburg had played a lot together, so this was not a problem. On the other side, David Hill from Old Masset single handedly kept them in the game, as he consistently drove to the hoop.
That effort seemed to spur on the athletes as Old Masset cut into Hydaburg’s lead at the half, 36-31.
Both teams came out firing to start the third, scoring on each of their first three possessions. With more space available due to fatigue, open looks were easier to come by.
John Carle had a big stop, creating a turnover on the defensive end, then hit a three on his next time down the floor.
Hill was the shot-maker for Old Masset when they needed it, but his counterpart, Devin was too much. His high arching jumper swished from 16, 18 and 20 feet to extend Hydaburg’s lead.
The turning point in the game was Hydaburg upping their defence and hitting big shots down the stretch.
“We knew it was going to be tough coming in. We had pretty much the same team, with the exception to Devin joining us. It was a great game,” said Young.
“We had to get lucky and get a few steals, it gave us some energy, and we were able to get a couple easy lay-ins and couple three-pointers. We would kick it to the big guy inside, because if they don’t have to guard anybody down in the post, it’s hard for us guards to shoot. But when they have to guard somebody, they have to keep going back and forth and we spread the floor creating easier shots for us,” said Joe Young.
A couple costly turnovers from Old Masset ended their hopes of a win as Hydaburg was able to get out in transition and open that 15-point lead. Old Masset tried their best to rally late but couldn’t erase the deficit. The final score was 76-65.
Sid Edenshaw was once again a force to be reckoned with. The inductee of last year’s Hall of Fame ceremony was a threat all night, posting up frequently and gaining double coverage to open up space for his teammates.
Sid remains a must-see staple of the tournament, and his Hydaburg side had many fans hoping the team will return in 2017.
Devin Edenshaw earned player of the game honours as Hydaburg brought home the championship to their community once more.