It’s been a busy couple of weeks for three Prince Rupert athletes south of the 49th Parallel.
Liam McChesney, Eric Lees and Justin McChesney have been taking in the sights and sounds of Las Vegas, Nevada – but not at the casinos or slot machines.
They’ve been representing B.C.’s under-14 and under-17 provincial teams in three Vegas-based basketball tournaments against teams from all over the world.
First up for Liam and Lees and the under-14 gang was the ‘Jam On It’ Las Vegas Classic.
The squad, split into a blue team (starters) and white team (bench players), were placed in the ‘Boys’ 8th Grade Level 1 Championship/Consolation’ division from July 21 – 23, but couldn’t crack the tough competition from around the globe.
The blue team faced off against the eventual runners-up, Laie Park from Hawaii, in the first round. Despite putting forth a strong effort, the B.C. boys fell 66-47 to the Hawaiians to knock them out of the championship bracket.
The white squad played a preliminary game versus New Zealand Basketball Academy 14B to try and get into the bracket, but the tough southern hemisphere group seemed to feel no ill effects from jet lag and beat B.C. 59-36.
That placed both west coast teams in the consolation bracket, where Team White would fall 52-42 to 3D Sports Cali from Oakland and Team Blue faced off against Alaska Gold.
A resounding loss to the Alaskans awaited Team Blue, as they fell 93-47 to the eventual consolation champions. The hosts, Jam On It, won the championship in the division.
That tournament led to the ‘Jam On It Grand Finale’, held from July 24 – 26 for the B.C. eighth- and ninth-graders.
Again, Team White fought in a preliminary game to reach the championship bracket, but lost a tough 60-33 game against Hoop Elite from Oregon on July 25.
Team Blue couldn’t muster more than their Team White counterparts, but did come within three points of toppling Idaho’s EIA. In the end, EIA beat B.C. 56-53.
In the consolation bracket, Team White lost to California’s Top Flight Elite Red 68-30, while Team Blue went all the way to win the consolation final, defeating New Zealand Basketball Academy 14B 60-44, then topping Hoop Elite 62-35 to win the final.
For Justin McChesney, he and the under-17 team travelled to the Bigfoot Hoops Las Vegas Classic from July 22 – 26 for an NCAA-sanctioned event.
The team was placed in Pool W, along with California’s Golden Gate’s Finest, Minnesota’s Fury Wilde and California’s TNL Admirals and B.C. finished third in the division with one win and two losses.
Justin and the team started things off with a 44-24 defeat to Golden Gate’s Finest and then fell to the Fury Wilde 65-28 in pool play. They turned things around when the team topped the TNL Admirals 44-34.
In the Silver Elite Championship Bracket, Basketball BC topped A4S Sports, but fell to eventual champions Mac Irvin Orange in the second round of the bracket.