Wednesday, April 21, 2021
April 21, 2021

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Volcanoes get bell rung on ring night

Team honored for 2011 title, then fall to Slam 128-115

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The Vancouver Volcanoes pose with their 2011 IBL Championship rings before their game against the Bellingham Slam at Clark College on Friday.
The Vancouver Volcanoes pose with their 2011 IBL Championship rings before their game against the Bellingham Slam at Clark College on Friday. Photo Gallery

The Vancouver Volcanoes began the night receiving rings and ended it having had rings run around them.

Nearly 11 months removed from winning their first International Basketball League title, Volcano players and front-office personnel were presented with championship rings before Friday’s game against the Bellingham Slam.

The ceremony introduced each member from that title-winning roster, and concluded with the unveiling of a championship banner that hangs over the east-side bleachers of the O’Connell Sports Complex.

Players celebrated euphorically last July when the final seconds ticked off the clock in the IBL title game.

And for a few minutes Friday, they were able to reminisce on what remains a treasured achievement.

“This wasn’t just one year in the making, it was four years in the making,” said Volcanoes forward Alex Hartman, who pointed to his ring during warm-ups and said: “I want to wear it during the game! We got better every year. This was a complete team effort.”

But once the game began, it didn’t take long for the Volcanoes to be reminded that their championship came last year.

Despite leading by 10 midway through the first quarter, Vancouver trailed by 14 points at halftime. The deficit would grow as large as 23, and when the final buzzer sounded, Bellingham had won 128-115.

Players blamed their defense afterward, specifically condemning slow rotations that led to open shots.

The Slam (10-1) hitting 16 of its 33 3-pointers attested to this shortcoming, as did guard Morris Anderson scoring 31 points on 11-of-16 shooting. Drew Ready added 21 points for Bellingham while going 8 of 10 from the field.

Andre Murray scored 33 points for Vancouver (7-4) while Hartman pitched in 22.

After the game, Volcano players and executives were generally disgruntled.

However, one look at their ring fingers made the loss a bit easier to stomach.

“This is pretty much the best way to show that I did want I wanted to,” said IBL owner Brian Hunter, who coached the Volcanoes for the previous four seasons. “This isn’t a glamorous job. You don’t do it for the money, you do it for the love.”


BELLINGHAM (10-1) — Hafford 5-15 0-0 14, Henifin 2-8 2-2 6, Anderson 11-16 5-6 31, Ready 8-10 4-9 21, Jared Stevenson 1-3 0-0 2, Jacob Stevenson 6-11 3-4 15, Jeremy Green 6-9 2-2 18, Matteson 0-5 1-3 1, Pool 8-16 1-2 20. Totals 49-93 18-28 128.

VANCOUVER (7-4) — Lechtenberg 0-1 0-0 0, Troupe 4-7 2-2 13, Williams 8-14 0-0 18, Hartman 9-19 2-2 22, Watson 3-7 0-0 7, West 0-2 0-0 0, Malloy 2-3 0-1 4, Murray 11-20 7-8 33, Uskoski 3-5 0-2 6, Tiefenthaler 0-0 0-0 0, Hampton 5-8 0-0 10, Christie 0-0 0-0 0, Moore 0-1 0-0 0, Keep 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 46-89 11-15 115.

Bellingham 36 27 34 31–128

Vancouver 32 17 34 32–115


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