The Kitamaat Haisla Ladies are the 2011 champions after facing the Prince Rupert Rain in the women’s division finals of the 52nd annual All-Native Tournament on Saturday.
In the first quarter, Prince Rupert came out strong, scoring within the first 10 seconds of the game. Prince Rupert players continued to rack up points while Kitamaat remained at zero. The lead wouldn’t last long though, with Kitamaat catching up to Rupert with 4:30 on the clock. Kitamaat then took a lead that would have Rupert struggling to catch up with for the rest of the game. The quarter ended with the score Kitamaat 19 and Prince Rupert 13
In the second quarter Prince Rupert began to close in on Kitamaat, bringing their scores to only one point back. Then two consecutive three-point shots for Kitamaat propelled them back into the lead, which continued to widen. Referees came down hard on infractions and foul shots were awarded to both teams several times throughout the quarter. The quarter ended with a score of Kitamaat 35 – Prince Rupert 28.
In the third quarter Prince Rupert couldn’t seem to close the gap, and spent the entire quarter at least 10 points behind Kitamaat. Kitamaat players display some excellent passing skills and continued to rack up the points. Many more foul shots are awarded to both teams and the quarter ended with a score Kitamaat 53 – Prince Rupert 40.
In the forth quarter, Prince Rupert continued to trail well behind Kitamaat for the first five minutes. In the last five minutes, Prince Rupert began to close in on Kitamaat and the crowds for both sides began to go wild. With 1:30 on the clock Rupert was only four points behind, but Kitamaat managed to hold on to their lead and win the championship with a score of 63 to 59.
“It’s kind of like, ‘finally!’ We were here last year and had a lot of young players who were kind of starry-eyed and got caught up in the atmosphere. They just couldn’t get it done. But we came back this year and our goal right from first practice was to win this game and we got it done today,” said Kitamaat’s coach, Keith Nyce.
At the awards ceremony later on that afternoon, Kitamaat’s Adeila Paul was named as the 2011 Most Valuable Player in the women’s division. During the game she proved her self a force to be reckoned with by scoring many of the her team’s
“It feels great. We missed out last year by like three baskets. It definitely feels great to be rewarded with this this year,” says Paul.
The 2011 women’s divisions All Stars were also named and are as follows:
Prince Rupert: Tricia Helin, Kristin Helin
Kitamaat: Miranda Ross, Kaitlynn Stewart
Gitwinksihlkw: Samantha Azak, Mariyah Tait
Metlakatla: Judy Carlick-Pearson, Denise Wilson
Bella Bella: Shayla