Sunset crowned men’s hoops champs


The Fort Frances Men’s Basketball League saw its season draw to a close with Sunset Landscaping nabbing the league title in emphatic fashion over the Revco Renegades last Tuesday night at Fort High.
The final two games mirrored the season as both teams that were expected to win did.
Any dreams of upsets remained just that–dreams.
Revco came into the final knowing it would need to have its best game of the season if it had any hope of defeating the regular-season champs.
But led by Josh Mastin’s team-high 38 points, it was Sunset that cruised to a 86-52 romp to earn the title.
John Sivonen and Brad Wardas, who averaged almost 20 points per game each, along with the entire Revco team, struggled mightily throughout the game–missing easy shots, lay-ups, and even throwing errant passes out-of-bounds a number of times.
With Revco’s top guns combining for just 21 points, Sunset walked away with the easy victory.
Dustin Mowe also played a strong game for the victors, netting 15 points.
On an interesting “game within a game” note, head scorekeeper Josh Pawluk lost 6-5 to league co-ordinator Conrad Dueck in which one from the Emo carpool could get the most points on the night.
It was a hard-fought battle, and even though his team did everything possible to give Pawluk the advantage as time wound down, it just wasn’t enough.
Sivonen and Sunset’s Justin Anderson had great support for their teams through the season with perfect attendance, as well.
“Overall, it was a very successful year for the men’s league,” said Dueck.
“We had a record number of players and teams, enough income to pay the bills, and two refs throughout the playoffs.
“A special thanks to Josh Pawluk and Trevor Martin for faithfully running the clock and keeping score,” he added.
“Thanks to all the guys for being good sports, playing hard, being encouraging one to another, and just making Tuesdays at the gym a fun place to be,” Dueck enthused.
Before the final, the battle for third-place in the league took place between the RBC Lions and BDO Ballerz.
BDO continued its league-best attendance record as it again fielded a full squad along with two substitutes.
The Lions, meanwhile, only had five players.
But those five were enough, especially with top player Sam Soderman being one of the five after missing the previous week’s semi-final due to being called out of town for work.
Soderman proceeded to record a game-high 42 points. And while he didn’t win the game by himself, his individual point total eclipsed the combined total of the BDO players and led RBC to a convincing 64-38 victory.
The Ballerz struggled to put up points all game long, missing shots they normally would make.
Todd Richards led BDO with nine points while his son, Wyatt, chipped in eight from near the hoop.
Regular season “perfect attendance” awards were given out to Soderman, all three of the Richards, Toby Munro, and D.J. Mackintosh.
“We aren’t completely finished for the year, and there is excitement building for March 27,” noted Dueck.
“We will have the first-ever league all-star game, with a U.S. versus Canada format, as well as the ‘mediocre game,’ featuring one-time stars, wannabe stars, and old guys who are just looking for a shot at glory.
“[It] should be a fun night,” he enthused.
“[I’m] looking forward to seeing you all there again.
“Finally, a huge thanks to our sponsors, Sunset Landscaping, RBC, BDO, Revco, and North Country Track & Wheel [Arctic Cat] for funding our awesome jerseys,” Dueck added.
“And please, if you have jerseys and have not returned them, bring them on the 27th,” he remarked.
“Or if you are in high school, return them to Stephen or Joseph Dueck and they will get them to me.
“The jerseys cost $30 each and we can’t afford to replace them every year,” Dueck stressed.
“So please don’t make me hunt you down and just get them back.”