Hapnot’s senior Kweens basketball team took their first tournament of 2023 last weekend, earning the W in the Clipper Classic in Dauphin.
Hosted by the Dauphin Regional Comprehensive Secondary School (DRCSS) Clippers, the tournament featured eight teams in a double-knockout tournament bracket. Win and you keep playing - lose twice and you go home.
The Kweens would start the weekend with a play-in game against the Gilbert Plains Collegiate Trojans, prevailing with a 84-23 win to enter the tournament bracket. There, the Kweens would meet the host Clippers, snagging a narrow 39-38 win to continue to the tournament semifinals. Hapnot would play the Vincent Massey Vikings from Brandon, a much bigger school by enrollment playing in AAAA tournaments - by contrast, Hapnot’s team is classified as a AA program.
Student numbers would take a backseat to the numbers on the scoreboard though, as the Kweens rolled through the Vikings 66-33 to set up a rematch with the Clippers in the final game.
In the rematch, the Kweens removed all doubt from their narrow victory earlier in the weekend, putting 60 points on the Clippers’ heads en route to a 60-47 victory. Hapnot would head back north having gone undefeated and with tournament glory.
The Kweens will be back on court this weekend in Swan River at the Pizza Place Varsity Girls Tournament, played Jan. 20-21.
Hapnot and Frontier Collegiate’s girls’ squads hit the court in Cranberry Portage last week, playing in the Frontier Collegiate Senior Girls’ Basketball Invitational Jan. 13-14. Frontier’s senior team took on all comers, including Hapnot’s JV team - the seniors were in Dauphin, playing in the aforementioned Clipper Classic.
The Kweens and Frontier Raiders played Moose Lake’s Frontier Mosakahiken Grizzlies, Cross Lake Mikisew and Norway House’s Helen Betty Osborne Ininiw Education Resource Centre (HBOIERC) Huskies.
In a five-team round robin, the Raiders went undefeated, taking out Frontier Mosakahiken 40-15, Mikisew 57-36, Hapnot 35-28 and HBOIERC 42-21. The hosts would enter the playoffs as the top seed.
Hapnot, despite fielding a team made entirely of Grade 9 and 10 players, earned a pair of wins and the second seed, beating Mosakahiken 47-27 and HBOEIRC 18-16. The Kweens would lose to Mikisew 34-18 and to Frontier in the previously-mentioned 35-28 game.
Frontier played the Grizzlies to start the playoff round, beating them 53-17 and going into the finals. Hapnot also dispatched their opponents, beating HBOEIRC’s senior squad 27-11 to set-up an all-area final.
Frontier was able to pull ahead and stay ahead, defeating Hapnot 50-28 on their home court to win their host tournament.
The JV Kweens will play next in Thompson in two weeks’ time, playing in a JV tournament put on at R.D. Parker Collegiate. Boys' and girls' tournaments will be held concurrently in Thompson that weekend - both Hapnot’s boys’ and girls’ JV teams will take part.
The Creighton Kodiaks’ senior girls team headed south for a tournament Jan. 13-14, playing in the Marquis Lyle Severson Classic in Moosomin. Against seven other teams, most of which were larger southern schools, the Kodiaks fought hard and earned a podium finish.
In the first game against the Kamsack Comprehensive Institute Spartans, Creighton opened up a big lead and followed through, slaying the Spartans 73-32. That set up a semi-final matchup with the Rocanville Falcons, who stopped Creighton’s title momentum - the Kodiaks led at points during the game, but late foul trouble left Creighton with a 53-48 heartbreaker.
The result pushed Creighton into the third-place game against the Esterhazy High School Warriors, where the Kodiaks took their frustration out on their southern foes to the tune of a 61-22 victory, earning the bronze position on the podium. Rocanville would end up winning the tournament, beating hosts Moosomin in the final.
The Kodiaks will play again in Wynyard Jan. 26-27.
Hapnot’s senior boys squad played in the Ste. Rose Celtics Invitational tournament from Jan. 13-14 at Ste. Rose, dropping their first game 61-54 to the Virden Bears. That loss sent the Kings into the B-side draw, where they salvaged the weekend by beating the host Celtics 82-26 and beating the Minegoziibe Anishinabe Talons from Camperville 78-67 to win the consolation round, finishing fifth overall out of eight teams.
Meanwhile, the JV Kings played their first tournament of 2023 in the Swan Valley JV Boys Invitational at Swan Valley Regional Secondary School (SVRSS) Jan. 7, a short two-game, one-day tournament.
In the four-team tournament, featuring the Kings, the host SVRSS Tigers, the DRCSS Clippers and MBCI, the Kings drew the host Tigers and lost 71-32, forcing them into the third-place game. There, the Kings would play Dauphin, who would also beat the Kings 78-39, pushing Hapnot into last place.
The JV boys will be back in action later this month at R.D. Parker Collegiate in their JV tournament Jan. 27-28, then again at another tournament in Ste. Rose a week later.