After 19 years, Whitehorse wins tournament
Whitehorse and the Chilkats start their game Saturday with a jump ball that got the action going in a head to head game that Whitehorse ending up winning.
After being fouled by a Whitehorse opponent during Saturday’s game, Chilkat Rich Caulkins lines up his aim to sink the shot. Whitehorse went on to win the championship game against the Haines Merchants in the 19th Annual Dick Hotch Memorial Basketball Tournament. Photo by Kris Reeves.
Although it was after 3:00 AM, it was obvious that this was no ordinary run to the ferry terminal to pick up visitors arriving from Juneau. It was Dick Hotch Tournament weekend in Haines and visiting basketball teams from Juneau were arriving. Teams from Whitehorse and Klukwan were also here or soon would be. As we drove through town, lights were on at area motels and homes hosting tournament participants.
Where else is post-high school basketball such a big deal as in Alaska? The Dick Hotch Tournament, held in Haines last weekend for the 19th time, was an example of what this caliber of basketball can do for players and the community.
Six teams were involved in this year’s basketball weekend held at the Haines High School gymnasium, including a Canadian team from Whitehorse that won the tournament. The Whitehorse team has been to the tournament since it began 19 years ago. This is the first time they have won the championship game in that time.
Play started on Friday afternoon and ran through Sunday evening. The huge popularity of the event was obvious by the difficulty in finding a parking space anywhere near the door of the gym during the weekend.
The Haines Merchants team represented Haines and is the one that will travel to the upcoming Gold Medal Tournament in Juneau. The Merchants went on to take second place in the tournament behind the champions from Whitehorse. Two teams from Klukwan, the Chilkats and the ANS Team, competed and two from Juneau, Reliable Transfer and West Coast Stevedoring.
In the championship game Sunday night, Whitehorse beat the Haines Merchants 90 to 69. Sean McArron scored 29 points in that game for the Yukon team and Josh Fannon scored 26 points for the Haines Merchants. Whitehorse had beaten Reliable Transfer Saturday night to advance to the championship game. Haines had to beat Reliable earlier on Sunday afternoon to advance to the Sunday night championship contest.
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