OHSWEKEN— Kawenni:io athlete Chase Longboat spoke from the heart about what competing in the Boys Intermediate school basketball tournament meant to him.
Proudly wearing his first- place medal Longboat, who is a Grade 7 student replied, “Going undefeated feels alright. I’m not in it though for the medal. I’m here to have fun, compete with other teams and make new friends. That’s what makes it so much fun.”
Striving to make some school history, Kawenni:io entertained the Dajoh Youth and Elders Center when on Tuesday, February 11th they capped off an undefeated run by coming back from an early deficit to post a 21-16 Intermediate boys basketball school tournament win against Emily C. General.
“It was lots of fun,” Longboat said. “Most of us play on actual teams. They (Emily C. General) did really good and it was fun playing them.”
Both teams had quality chances but it was Emily C. General who jumped out to an early 8-4 lead before Kawenni:io turned things around with six straight points in going-ahead by a 10-8 score.
“I think they all had a good time. I’ve been coaching them since they were in grade 4,” Kawenni:io co-coach Joanne Longboat said. “They were dedicated and their efforts really paid off.”
With gold on the line, Emily C. General started the second on fire as they had all sorts of chances including a handful from Cruz General who with six and a half minutes remaining connected on a lay-up which cut Kawennio:io’s lead down to 13-12.
The comeback however didn’t materialize as both teams were furiously exchanging chances which at the end saw Kawennio:io hit six of the next 10 baskets which put them in the driver’s seat for completing that mission of winning gold.
“I am just so happy for them,” coach Longboat said. “They all worked hard and had fun.”
Having fun and working hard is what the Six Nations school boys Intermediate basketball tournament is all about.