Richard Hillis (with ball) on one of many drives to the basket

Hazelton Jr. boys finish 3rd in zone tournament

The Hazelton Spartan junior boys’ basketball team finished the season on a high note by winning their final game of the season.

The Hazelton Spartan junior boys’ basketball team finished the season on a high note by winning their final game of the season.

The Spartans beat the Smithers B team to finish 3rd and their coach was pleased with his team’s accomplishment.

“This is a good way to end the season,” Coach Clarence Jones said.

“They’ve all learned a lot and played hard all year.”

After losing to the Bulkley Valley Christian School earlier in the day the Spartans met Smithers for the chance at the bronze.

The game was low-scoring early on, 8-6 for Smithers, as both teams failed to connect due to some high-energy defence.

Smithers began to take control of the game with a 10-4 outburst.

The scoring advantage was due to several Spartans losing their opponents  leaving Smithers players alone after collecting offensive rebounds.

Plus, the Spartans were at times one step behind their opponents in half-court defense, so Jones adjusted the defensive strategy and allowed his team to play zone, which worked well.

The Spartans kept battling and pulled level after being sparked by the play of Shawn Robinson and Richard Hillis, who made sure to keep the Smithers defense honest by consistently attacking the basket.

Robinson and Hillis worked well together, as Hillis drove to the basket drawing defenders and finding Robinson for a wide-open lay-up.

Hillis and Josh Wesley hit back-to-back three point baskets to pull even with Smithers at 22 a piece at half time.

After a Smithers basket, Hazelton scored twice to take the lead 26-24, after Hillis snuck around his defender for a rebound tip-in.

After a few baskets being traded by the two combatants Robinson gave the Spartans the lead at the free throw line, 33-32.

Hillis followed his team mates lead and connected on two free throws of his own to push the lead to 35-32.

Matt Bennett hit a jump shot and the Spartans took a five-point lead.

Hazelton employed a full-court press for most of the game, but it really began to take effect as the game progressed.

Jones listened to his players request to crank up the defensive intensity and it paid off.

“Our players are more active and confident when we press other teams,” Jones said.

After Smithers tied the game with two minutes remaining in the game Hazelton forced turn overs in the closing moments to take the game 47-42 with Hillis scoring the final three baskets.

Hillis earned an all-star for the tournament.

“I had fun playing,” Hillis said.

“The team played well too.”

During the day a skills competition was held and Charles Maclean came fifth among competitors, while Hillis came second in the free throw competition.

The future of the team looks bright as only two players on the team, Maclean and Robinson will move up next year.

The core of Grade 9 players have been together for several years in the Steve Nash youth basketball camps and will only improve, Jones said.

 

 

Just Posted

Fires still burning near Telegraph Creek

BC Wildfire Service assures residents of a proactive plan heading into wildfire season

Northwest entrepreneurs pitch their plans for cash prizes

ThriveNorth announces 12 finalists in this year’s business challenge

CT scanner expected to be up and running by end of June

When tragedy strikes and internal injuries are expected, 30 minutes can make all the difference

Gas prices steady in Smithers

Industry analyst says local retailers not making money, pain yet to come

Verdict scheduled in Giesbrecht murder trial

B.C. Supreme Court justice will render his decision May 24

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

B.C. RCMP receive application for Police Cat Services

RCMP announced the launch of the Police Cat Services unit as an April fools joke

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Chaos at the ferry terminal for people heading from Vancouver to the Island

Easter crowds create backlog at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

Parents of 13 who tortured children get life after hearing victims

One of their daughters fled their home and pleaded for help to a 911 operator

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Storms blast South, where tornadoes threaten several states

9.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia at a moderate risk of severe weather

Private cargo ship brings Easter feast to the space station

There are three Americans two Russians and one Canadian living on the space station

Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit

The fire burned through the lattice of oak beams supporting the monument’s vaulted stone ceiling

Most Read