The Hapnot Collegiate junior Kings and Kweens hit the court at zones last weekend. Both teams performed well, but the gym back home will feature no new banners this week.
The five-team girls’ tournament, played at Hapnot, would feature the host Kweens, Cross Lake Mikisew, OCN’s Oscar Lathlin Wolverines, the Helen Betty Osborne Ininiw Education Resource Centre (HBOIERC) Huskies from Norway House and The Pas’ Margaret Barbour Collegiate (MBCI) Spartans. The Spartans came in as the favourites, but the Kweens, who had played in at least one senior varsity tournament this year, were possible underdogs.
The Kweens would get the better of the Wolverines to start the tournament, beating them 52-27, then beat the Huskies 42-19, but Cross Lake and MBCI would defeat the hosts. A 45-27 loss to Cross Lake would befall the team, along with a 54-42 defeat by MBCI, who finished first in the pool with an undefeated record. The Kweens, who ended the round robin 2-2, finished third, behind both MBCI and Cross Lake.
The zone banner would eventually go to the Spartans, who defeated Cross Lake 32-28 in the final Feb. 25.
On the boys’ side, the Kings would travel close to home for their zone, playing at Frontier Collegiate in Cranberry Portage. In the eight-team draw, the Kings would play a four-team round-robin, bringing in three games in pool play and a shot at the title if they finished first in the pool.
MBCI was the Kings’ first opponent and they opened the Kings’ tournament with a sour note, beating Flin Flon’s team 64-11. Later in the day, the Kings would face the Frontier Mosakahiken Grizzlies from Moose Lake, who handed the Kings a 76-19 loss.
With the Kings’ two losses already confirming they wouldn’t make it out of their pool, Hapnot then played what would be their final game of the season, facing off against Cross Lake Mikisew. While Hapnot had a chance to end the year with a victory, they wouldn’t - Cross Lake would beat the Kings 63-37, sending the team home in last place in their pool and ending their season.
The senior teams from Hapnot will take part in their zone championships this weekend, with the Kweens playing most of their tournament in The Pas and the Kings en route to Norway House. While the Kweens’ tournament will take place at MBCI, their first game will be a home game - Hapnot will face the Frontier Collegiate Raiders Thursday at 4:30 p.m. at the Hapnot gym, before the rest of the tournament shifts Friday and Saturday to MBCI.
The top two teams following the five-team round-robin will advance to the zone final, with the winner of that game headed to provincials next month in Souris.
A schedule has not yet been released for the senior Kings’ tournament, but the zone winner will also advance to this year’s provincials, currently set to be played in Virden March 16-18.