Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION

AAA title game takes centre stage

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While the AAAA provincial high school basketball championships took the weekend off to prepare for Monday’s finals, the AAA title games took centre stage on Saturday at St. James Collegiate.

Linden Christian School grabbed the girls’ championship with a 71-47 win over R.D. Parker of Thompson, while Virden edged St. Norbert 63-60 in the third-place game.

Linden Christian’s Montana Kinzel was the tournament MVP, while teammates Brittney Bohychuk and Cara Neufeld made the all-star team. Joining them were Sydney Clemons and Adrianna Proulx of R.D. Parker and Heidi Smith of Virden. Kelsey Ngo of St. James Collegiate won the players’ choice award.

Westgate Collegiate took home the boys’ championship with a 87-47 win over St. James. Ben Miller of Westgate was the tournament MVP, and Joel Kliewer and Joshua Neustaedter-Barg earned all-star nods from the winning team. Also named to the all-star team were Rodney Brown and Ali Ahmed of St. James and Theo Farough of Neelin. Sam Kinsley of Hapnot won the players’ choice award.

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More than 100 of the province’s top young badminton players were on the court last weekend for the Yonex Pal Chawla Manitoba Junior Open.

The standout performer was Kevin Barkman of the Rady JCC/Titan Athletics, who earned the "triple crown" in the under-19 age category, winning boys’ singles, boys’ doubles and mixed doubles. His partners were Maxime Betournay and Quinn Brandt.

Haley Nakonechny of the Winnipeg Winter Club won the under-19 girls’ singles title and teamed up with Hanna Rebizant to win the doubles crown.

Visit www.badminton.mb.ca for the rest of the winners.

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J.T. Ryan’s team from the Assiniboine Memorial Curling Club and Beth Peterson’s Victoria Curling Club rink got some of next winter’s business out of the way early when they earned berths into the 2014 provincial junior curling championships.

Ryan and his team of Hugh McFarlane, Brad Van Achte and Brendan Cade defeated Kyle Doering of West Kildonan in the final of the berth bonspiel on Sunday.

Peterson, along with Robyn Njegovan, Melissa Gordon and Breanne Yozenko, beat Wildewood’s Christine MacKay.

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The Fort Garry Lions will be seeing things in a whole new light thanks to nearly $100,000 in funding from the federal government.

The football club received $99,520 to install 36 new lights on its main field, with plans to redirect the existing lights to its currently-unlit practice field.

"The addition of full lighting will help us address an immediate need, enhancing player safety and increasing the number of practices and games on our field — making the game of football even more accessible to young people in our community," said club president Wes Mueller.

The Lions are hoping to host their first night game before then end of the 2013 season.
In other Lions-related news, the club is putting on a series of free off-season workouts at the University of Manitoba’s Max Bell Centre for players born between 1996 and 2004.

The dates are March 23 and April 14 and 21, and no previous football experience in required. Email president@fortgarrylions.ca for more info.

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The year-end honours are pouring in for members of the University of Manitoba men’s hockey team.

Forward Blair Macaulay was named a first-team All-Canadian while forward James Henry was named to the All-Rookie team.

Meanwhile, a pair of Bisons managed to escape the winter at season’s end. Both goalie Jesse Deckert and forward Tyler Dittmer signed pro contracts with the Florida Everblades of the ECHL.

Avi Saper is Canstar Community News’ sports reporter.

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