The boys are back in town — and they're bringing a few others with them, too.
The Whistler Secondary School senior boys' basketball team is hosting a tournament for the first time in over a decade this weekend, and teams from Pemberton, Langley and West Vancouver will round out the slate.
The tournament, the Storm Season Opener, will tip off at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3.
Head coach Scott Riley said it's the first time in his memory that the school is welcoming other boys' teams for a tournament.
"We returned to Whistler 11 years ago and I don't remember anything in that timeframe," he said. "Historically, we've been part of different tournaments but have never hosted here in Whistler. We want to start a tradition."
In past years, Whistler athletes have travelled in order to support other schools' tournaments, and Riley appreciates that a few of them are taking the chance to return the favour.
"It means a lot. They're making the effort to come all the way up to join us here in Whistler," he said. "We've been at different events with those teams over the years, down in Vancouver or down in the Lower Mainland at different tournaments so we appreciate them joining us up here.
"Whistler does have some great basketball and I think that's going to be shown this Saturday."
For fans, there will be a three-point contest, a shooting competition from centre court, and other fun throughout the day.
With some well-rounded athletes making up the team, the Storm's style of play is still a work in progress, though he expects it'll be a high-tempo approach that should be fun for fans.
"(It's) to be determined," he said with a laugh. "But for the most part, we're trying to run a really fast-paced offence compared to more of a sit-back-and-wait-for-the-offence-to-develop (system). We're playing a run-and-gun style, hopefully. I think the boys are eager and want to do that kind of style. They're all pretty good athletes and that's a big part of it. We've got athletes who can do it and make it successful."
Riley, a first-year head coach, said there are no Grade 12 players on the team, and that only a couple of the Grade 10 and 11 players have competed at the senior level in the past.
Basketball camp coming
In other hoops news, an information session regarding the Steve Nash Youth Basketball Camp for those in Grades 5 through 7 is set for Monday, Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. in the Westin Whistler Mountain Club Lounge on the hotel's second floor.
The camp runs for 20 twice-weekly sessions from January to April 2017. In addition to instruction, the $175 fee includes a numbered Steve Nash reversible jersey, a Size 6 basketball, a Basketball B.C. Steve Nash Youth membership, and insurance and liability coverage.
For more information, contact Dale Mikkelsen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Canadians compete in Killington
Canadian women finished outside the Top 10 in alpine action in Killington, Vermont on the weekend.
In the ladies' slalom on Nov. 27, Marie-Michele Gagnon placed 14th for the top Canadian performance on the weekend. Gagnon finished 2.37 seconds behind winner Mikaela Shiffrin, who scored her 13th consecutive win in the slalom, leaving her two off the FIS record. Veronika Velez Zuzulova of Slovakia was second and Wendy Holdener of Switzerland was third. Erin Mielzynski and Valerie Grenier were 22nd and 29th, respectively.
In the giant slalom the day prior, Grenier was the highest-placing Canadian in 24th, placing 4.16 seconds behind champion Tessa Worley of France. Norway's Nina Loeseth took second and Italy's Sofia Goggia was third. The other Canadian to make the final was Candace Crawford, who took 27th.
The men's action in Lake Louise was cancelled because of poor snow conditions, but the weather co-operated for the women to compete in Alberta this coming weekend.
Renzoni rocks FIS debut in Sun Peaks
Ella Renzoni of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club (WMSC) hit the podium twice in her first FIS races at Sun Peaks on the weekend.
The 16-year-old took third in the giant slalom on Nov. 26, placing 2.66 seconds back of Kristina Natalenko while Soleil Patterson took second.
In the next day's slalom, Renzoni took the top spot, besting Tess Baldwin by 1.16 seconds and Claire Timmermann by 3.16 seconds.
Meanwhile, Mollie Jepsen made a strong return after ACL surgery, taking seventh in the giant slalom.
The men also enjoyed strong results, as Kyle Alexander took first in the giant slalom while representing Team BC, besting WMSC's Morgan Pridy by 0.61 seconds and Max Kirshenblatt by 0.86 seconds. Myles Kowalczyk took fifth in his FIS debut, while Asher Jordan was seventh and Alexander Valentin ninth. Dawson Yates ended up 12th, Kasper Woolley 13th and Jack Forsyth 15th.
In the slalom, Kowalczyk hopped onto the podium, winning the second run and finishing 0.18 seconds back of Olivier Paradis to take second while Kirshenblatt was third. Yates placed seventh and Forsyth 10th.
Nordic skiers start season with Teck Coast Cup
Some Sea to Sky skiers kicked off winter with some strong results at Whistler Olympic Park on Nov. 27.
The first Teck Coast Cup of the season was helped by a heavy snow dump in the preceding days as organizers went back to the original, larger course instead of a smaller one on stored Callaghan Gold snow.
Whistler Nordics' Nicole Murdoch captured the open/masters women's 7.5-kilometre event, edging teammate Stephane Cripps. On the men's side, Ted Lawson took the win.
As for the junior men's 7.5-kilometre race, Whistler's Emil Bakke captured second place while Michael Murdoch won the junior boys 7.5-kilometre challenge.
Locals also shone in the juvenile events as Joe Davies topped the boys' four-km race as Mila Wittenberg did the same on the girls' side.
Spud Valley Nordics had a strong showing with some of the younger competitors as Marlie Molinaro, Alexa Hunter and Sierra Pochay-McBain swept the midget girls' two-km podium. Ruby Hunter, meanwhile, took third in the bantam girls' two-km event.
As well, Luke Mackie and Andrew Lawson of Whistler were fourth and sixth, respectively, in the pee-wee boys' 1.5-km event.
Full results are available at www.zone4.ca.
McRae top Canadian in Winterberg
The 2016-17 FIL luge season kicked off in Winterberg, Germany with three Canadian sleds making the Top 10.
Kim McRae of Calgary took sixth in the women's race, placing 1.07 seconds back of winner Natalie Geisenberg of Germany. The country swept the podium as Tatjana Huefner and Dajana Eitberger were second and third, respectively. Fellow Calgarian Alex Gough was 10th.
In doubles action, Albertans Tristan Walker and Justin Snith took seventh, 0.842 seconds off the pace of Germans Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken. Again, the host nation swept as Robin Geueke and David Gamm were second and Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arit were third.
In men's singles, Mitchel Malyk of Calgary was the top Canadian in 16th, placing 0.588 seconds behind winner Johannes Ludwig of Germany. Russia's Roman Repilov took second and Germany's Andi Langerhan was third. Sam Edney, returning after a year off, took 21st.
Whistler singles athlete Reid Watts and the doubles team of Matt Riddle and Adam Shippit did training runs with the team in advance of the World Cup, but did not compete on the big stage. In the Nations Cup leading up to the World Cup, Watts took 22nd in the men's singles event.
The World Cup heads to Lake Placid, N.Y. on Dec. 2 and 3 before swinging into Whistler on Dec. 9 and 10.
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