The Haines Women’s Basketball League has been around for just over a year. And they just won their second tournament. The team competed in the Lights Out Yukon Invitational Basketball Tournament in Whitehorse, where they swept all five of their games.
Haines beat out four other teams. Three of them were from Whitehorse and one from Yellowknife.
With the Haines team was one player from Skagway, Savannah Ames. Team member Krista Kielsmeier says bringing Skagway players on board is part of a bigger goal of getting more people involved.
“My goal is to expand basketball opportunities for people kind of regionally,” says Kielsmeier.
This is the team’s second official tournament. They also came out on top in their first, the Gold Medal Basketball Tournament in Juneau last March.
Since then, Kielsmeier says they’ve seen more interest in the women’s league that formed in Nov. 2015.
“I think last year we had fewer players and they were really regular,” says Kielsmeier. “And now we have a bigger pool but we have kind of people coming and going, which is fine, we always have enough people. But I think with more players people feel like they don’t have to come each time. So that gives people a little bit more flexibility.”
Now, Kielsmeier says they’re hoping to continue to grow, with the goal of expanding the women’s side of the Haines Dick Hotch Tournament in March.
Though only seven players made it to the Whitehorse tournament, Kielsmeier says a team effort helped secure the overall win.
“It goes well beyond just the seven players who went to the tournament,” says Kielsmeier. “Everybody involved helped us do well at that event.”
Haines player Alisa Beske was the tournament’s MVP. Their championship win earned them a prize of $900 Canadian.