Four North Coast basketball teams attended the Junior All Native Basketball Tournament in Kelowna this past week and met with varying degrees of success, but one Nisga’a and Prince Rupert baller won it all in the girls’ division.
Carly Cochrane, who played with Greenville at the Syilx-hosted tourney, helped her team claim the championship in a hard-fought final game last Friday versus VanCity, a team they had lost to previously in the round robin.
It’s the second championship title for Cochrane this year, after helping her Charles Hays Secondary School (CHSS) Rainmakers senior girls’ team win the Northwest Zones title in February. Cochrane was also named an all-star in that zones tournament, and again named an all-star in the women’s division at the regular All Native Basketball Tournament, playing with the Prince Rupert Rain in February.
With Greenville, Cochrane helped lead the team to a 3-1 round robin finish, defeating Kaien Island, Ahousaht and the Kamloops Intermediate Wolves, and falling to VanCity.
The Nisga’a team beat Hesquiaht in the semifinals and later that day, beat VanCity to exact revenge in the final game.
In the girls’ division, the Kaien Island Thunder went 4-2 in the tourney, beating Gitwinksihlkw, Klemtu, Haisla and Lil’Wat, and falling to Greenville and Hesquiaht.
The Lax Kw’alaams squad went 0-2 in the double elimination format, losing to Ahousaht and At’maakw.
In the boys’ division, Prince Rupert Synergy won three games before bowing out to VanCity in an elimination game. The Synergy beat Gitxsan, TFN and Nunanta, and lost to the Skidegate Saints and VanCity.
Lax-Hoya reeled off a victory against the Haisla Jr. Braves, but fell to Nunanta and the Gitmadiik Storm, going 1-2.
VanCity were the eventual champions in the boys’ bracket, beating Snuneymuxw in the final and also earned the right to host the 2018 Junior All Native Basketball Tournament next year.
In all, 61 teams and more than 650 players descended on Kelowna to take part in the 2017 tourney.