The Snuneymuxw Native Sons are handling all the high hopes of being a host team.
The boys’ basketball squad started the Junior All-Native Tournament with two wins and is in contention to reach the semifinals and finals on Thursday (March 26).
The Sons won a physical game against the Maaqtusiis Magic 79-61 on Tuesday afternoon at the Vancouver Island University gym. Fans of both teams made their voices and drums heard at the gym, making for a big-game feel.
“It’s good to get redemption on this team – they knocked us out last year, so it’s good to finally beat them,” said Hayden Jeffrey, who scored 41 points in the victory.
He said his team played a good transition game early to build a lead, then locked things down defensively.
“We just weathered their storm,” Jeffrey said. “When they started hitting a couple shots, we just came back and made ours and went on a run and put it out of reach.”
Jordan Gladstone scored 20 points for the Sons in the win.
Snuneymuxw started the tournament Monday by getting past Syilx 67-56.
“We’re so athletic, all of our guys,” Jeffrey said. “Anyone can play. We’ve got a deep bench so that’s what’s going to keep us going.”
The Sons play Lax Kw’alaams on Wednesday at 5:15 p.m. at the VIU gym. Thursday’s semifinal is at 10:30 a.m. at VIU, with the gold-medal match at 3 p.m.
In the girls’ brackets, Snuneymuxw is no longer in contention, but the Nanaimo-based West Coast team is still in the hunt and plays Syilx on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. at VIU. The girls’ semis are Thursday at 9 a.m. at VIU with the final at 1 p.m.
For more information on the Junior All-Native Tournament, please click here.