NNSL Photo/Graphic


Home page text size buttonsbigger textsmall textText size Email this articleE-mail this page

Baker takes banner in overtime

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Baker Lake Blizzard withstood a furious comeback by Chesterfield Inlet to capture the Nunavut boy's 18-and-under territorial basketball championship by a score of 72-68 in overtime this past month in Baker.

NNSL photo/graphic

Eric Perkison of the Baker Lake Blizzard goes up for a shot against Cambridge Bay during the 18 and under Nunavut boy's basketball territorial championship in Baker this past month. - photo courtesy of Jennith Peart

Cambridge Bay defeated Rankin Inlet to claim bronze.

Baker coach Lazarus Attungala said the atmosphere was electric for the final game.

He said the home crowd was stunned when Chester fought back from a nine-point deficit in the final four minutes to tie the game.

"The boys were pretty pumped to be playing in the final in their own community," said Attungala.

"It was a big crowd and everyone was right into the game before it even started.

"The overtime was nerve-racking for me.

"No one wanted to believe we were in overtime for awhile, after having a nine-point lead so late in the game."

Attungala said the overall play in the territorial was fairly competitive.

He said although many players in this year's event were younger, they all did well playing as a team.

"This was the first territorial championship for a good number of these kids.

"Everyone seemed to enjoy the tournament and have a good time, and that's always the main thing."

Four Baker players were among the final 14 vying for a spot on the Arctic Winter Games team coached by Sunday Thomas of Iqaluit.

The final roster was not announced as of press time.

Host committee co-chair Steve Paterson said the territorial was a fantastic event.

He said the tourney featured a number of very close games, and that the atmosphere in the gym for the final game was absolutely crazy.

"Pond Inlet flew over Rankin and spent the weekend in Yellowknife, so that left seven teams," said Paterson.

"We had games in two pools, and then the semifinals, consolation, bronze medal and gold medal games.

"The gym was packed for every game, even in the early morning, so we had a great fan base once again."

Paterson said the out-of-town athletes coped with the additional time in Baker due to blizzard conditions very well.

He said the boys put their minds together and came up with another championship playoff during the week.

"Someone brought a PlayStation to the community hall where they were staying and they came up with a playoff based on NHL hockey.

"They made their own Stanley Cup out of juice and coffee tins, which they dubbed Lord Stormy's Cup to present to the winner."

Paterson said as close as the territorial was between the teams, every player showed great sportsmanship.

He said the people of Baker Lake deserve a lot of credit for the support they gave the event.

"A big thank you is also owed the volunteers who helped make this possible, and who helped out so much when the kids were weathered in.

"The delay gave the coaches a lot more than they signed up for, but everyone did a great job in making the best of the situation."

E-mailWe welcome your opinions. Click here to e-mail a letter to the editor.