The Rainbow Elementary Basketball Championships were staged last Wednesday at Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School, as both the boys and girls Knights claimed a banner for the home court team. Paced by a near-unstoppable performance from Abdallah (Abdi) Asher, the Lo-Ellen lads stopped the Churchill Chargers 53-38.
The teams had split their two previous encounters this year, though it's fair to say that the players had never previously dealt with the raucous environment of the Rainbow final, with large contingents of fans from both sides on hand to raise the roof.
With Churchill holding an advantage in the size department, Lo-Ellen would need to counter with speed, with Raynor Grant, Jordan Fergani and Kalev Timusk all earning praise from Knights' head coach Ron Erwin, the trio doing an effective job of containing the Churchill "TWin Towers".
Joining Asher, Grant, Fergani and Timusk in the gold medal celebration were Kaeden Ward, Owen Dobson, Jacob Clarke, Nolan Kuhlberg, Adam Chebbi, Cole Brown, Lucas Gilpin and Christopher Groulx.
The Lo-Ellen girls had set the tone earlier in the day, focusing on unselfish ball movement, defensive pressure and a deep and talented roster in downing the MacLeod Mustangs 42-15. Syla Swords (15) and Bree Bourget (7) topped the Knights scoring chart, with the team enjoying key contributions right across their lineup of Isabel McKague, Mia Yurich, Siobhan Noble-Poland, Maija Potvin, Olivia Tissot, Madina Jebreen, Alyzee Bisaillon, Sophie Alexander, Mahtressa Paris and Mathilde Fleury (coaches Delaney Bourget and Dylann Mazzuchin.
MacLeod countered with a roster that included Ava Lamothe, Kate Rolston, Charlie Herold, Kendra Shanks, Frankie Tushingham, Ava Ziegler, Hannah Staffen, Ella Bourget, Sidney Coe, Kaija Beljo and coaches Andrew Lessard and Sandie Martin.