With an absolutely dominating performance and a treat to watch for any spectator, the Terrace Waks got revenge on their Vancouver brethren, beating them 84-53 for the Senior Sen’s title at the All Native Qualifying Tournament on Saturday night to close out the competition.
Suffering a loss to Vancouver earlier in the tourney, Terrace defeated Gitanyow to earn the right to face their opponents from down south in the final.
And this time, a different Terrace team emerged.
Led by Lyle Dirks, who scored close to 25 points in the match, Terrace had every player on the same page as each other, like they had been practicing for years.
And while they know each other, Dirks said that’s not the case.
“We don’t get too much practice time. We don’t get a lot of gym time in Terrace because most of them are rented out by the school teams and stuff like that so we have two drop-in times a week and other than that, it’s mainly just the league we play in,” said Dirks after the game.
Six players reached double-digits for the Waks on Saturday, including their starting five of Dirks, Basil Morgan, Tyler Moore, Raymond Clayton and Andrew Nyce. Off the bench, Steven Vickers collected a handful of points as well.
“We’re a pretty new team. We’ve got a lot of guys that weren’t on the team last year or the year before that and we’re just kind of bonding as a team,” said Dirks.
An almost Harlem Globetrotters-like performance from the Waks earned them a 30-9 lead and their ability to see the floor and find the open man or dish it to the outside was part of the recipe to their success.
Morgan used his size to cut in below the net and fast, purposeful passes by Terrace had the Vancouver team playing catch-up all night.
By the halfway point, Terrace had built themselves a 48-20 lead and were using fake-outs and deceitful looks to fool their opponents into going the wrong way.
At game’s end, most players were trying their luck at threes on both sides and seeing which shots would fall.
Jesse Ryan, Mike Bissonnette, Daniel Stewart and Wayne Dundas led the Vancouver side in a valiant attempt to stop the Waks, but the Terrace team just had too many balls hitting their mark from all over the court. If Vancouver tried a certain tactic to shut them down, Terrace adapted and changed up their strategy.
“I was pretty relaxed this game,” said Dirks.
“That’s (25 points) a season high for me actually,” he added.
“I think we just really wanted to get that loss back we had the other day from this same team.”
Gitanyow and Hartley Bay also took part in the Senior Men’s division tourney.