Grand Falls-Windsor was well represented at the 2011 Molson Men’s Division III Provincial Basketball Championships late last month with two teams vying for a title.
The Young Gunz made it to the semi-finals, where they put up a good fight against a strong Pinchin LeBlanc’s team, but lost 78-66.
“The weekend was excellent. My team played exactly like I thought they would,” said Young Gunz captain Nathan Sullivan. “We met some teams that were a little more competitive than we thought they were going to be.”
The Double Dribble also represented Grand Falls-Windsor in the tournament that tends to feature mostly recreational teams, but this year, the Young Gunz were well prepared for the championships. They formed at the Donnini’s Men’s Basketball League early in the season and began running their own practices out of a local gym.
“I had the team together from the get go. We were working for a few months and running practices from the gym here you don’t see many Division III teams running practices,” said Sullivan. “We went out (there) and these teams were beating teams by 20 and 30 points, but we managed to give them a bit of competition.”
Sullivan had played in the provincial tournament the past few years with teams that have entered to have a bit of fun. This year they took the championships with bigger intentions and saw better results.
“My team was taking it a little bit more serious,” said Sullivan. “Everybody on my team was under the age of 22. You know when a bunch of young guys are going to a tournament they want to win. After it was all said and done I was quite proud of the team.”
With members of the Young Gunz just out of high school, there was little experience in facing teams from various men’s league to go around. However, after a close semi-final match, Sullivan hopes he can bring the team back for a run at next year’s title.
“It’s not set in stone yet, but we decided to keep the team together and still run practices and when the league is said and done we’re talking about trying to host our own invitational men’s tournament at the end of the year.”
A team from the men’s league will also be representing the town in the Divison II Provincial Championships this weekend in St. John’s.