They say defending a title is one of the hardest things to do, no matter the sport.

The Bureaucrats, though, managed to prove that it can be done and they did it in fine fashion.

They are once again your Yk Basketball Association champions after beating the Avery Cooper Nuggets in the best-of-three final series in two straight by scores of 81-77 and 84-65 respectively; the latter score came this past Friday at Sir John Franklin Gymnasium.

Damien Healy, who plays with the champs, said Game 2 was a lot better than Game 1 for one big reason: Simon Markowski.

“Simon played awesome,” he said. “He hit six three (pointers) and no one else did that for us. He was doing some hard-body karate in that game and he’s officially replaced Cory Taylor as the greatest player in the league.”

Both teams ended up in the final after winning their respective semifinal best-of-threes — the Bureaucrats took down the Ideal Woodworking 76ers in two straight while the Nuggets needed all three Games to beat the Jazz. The semifinals featured some rather exciting finishes along the way and Healy had a front-row seat for two of those contests as an official.

They included something Healy said he’d never seen before in Yellowknife basketball: two buzzer-beaters to win a game on the same night.

“Game 1 of the Jazz and the Nuggets had Matt Craig hit one to win and then the game with the 76ers and the (WINMAR) Spartans, the juniors — the 76ers hit a buzzer-beater to win the series,” he said. “I can’t ever remember that happening but it provided a bit of March Madness-type of basketball.”

And because players like to keep track of what they’ve won, he added, it was the second title in a row for Darren Campbell while some others have hit pay dirt again.

“This is the ninth title for Simon and Jeremy Bird told me it’s his 10th,” he said. “I’m not sure how many I’ve won but I’d have to go back to when I was a junior to figure that out.”

James McCarthy

I've been hanging around the office as the sports editor for the better part of the last 16 years. In August 2022, NNSL Media decided to promote me to the managing editor's position, which I accepted after...

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