The provincial association held its annual awards ceremony at Credit Union Place recently. The guest speaker was Joe Salerno, head coach of the Summerside Storm of the National Basketball League of Canada.
The Three Oaks Axemen, champions of the P.E.I. School Athletic Association (PEISAA) Senior AAA Boys Basketball League, were named team of the year. Other Prince County recipients included Madison Tompkins was the junior female player of the year; Kenan Wilkie and Patrick Murray were co-recipients of the junior male player of the year; Cameron Paynter was a co-recipient of the bantam boys player of the year; Axemen head coach Faro Halupa was coach of the year; Rob Anderson was official of the year; Scott MacKay was named co-recipient of the volunteer of the year, and John MacIsaac was recognized as administrator of the year.
Following is a look at the Prince County recipients:
Three Oaks Axemen
The Axemen finished the 2011-12 season with a 30-1 (won-lost) record, with the one loss coming at the hands of the Nova Scotia provincial silver-medallists. The Axemen ended the season with a 25-game winning streak and four straight tournament wins, including the Bluefield Bobcat Classic, Three Oaks Christmas Classic, Charlottetown Rural Confederation Classic and Coal Bowl national invitational tournament in New Waterford, N.S.
It was only the second time a P.E.I. team has won the Coal Bowl, and was the first for Three Oaks.
The Axemen completed the season by winning back-to-back PEISAA provincial championships. The team averaged 85 points a game while giving up an average of only 55 points against.
The Axemen trailed at halftime in two games all season, and came back to win both of them.
The Axemen graduated four players, and three of those have gone on to play basketball at the university or college level.
Tompkins was the most valuable player (MVP) of the AAA provincial championship, where she served as captain and leading scorer of the Three Oaks Axewomen. She was also named MVP of the Christmas Classic tournament.
Tompkins was named to several tournament all-star teams and was a first-team all-star in the PEISAA Senior AAA Girls Basketball League.
Tompkins also served as captain of the provincial under-17 team. She displayed strong leadership, an outstanding work ethic and an exceptionally high basketball IQ.
Tompkins was in the top three in scoring, rebounding, steals and blocked shots, and was one of the top three-point shooters at the nationals last summer.
Tompkins now plays with the Dalhousie Tigers.
Murray was a starter on the PEISAA provincial-champion Axemen as well as the P.E.I. under-17 team that competed at the nationals last summer.
Murray was an all-star at the 2012 Charlottetown Rural Confederation Classic, and a second-team regular-season all-star in the high school league.
Although a year younger than his peers, Murray has been able to make himself a factor in his team’s play through hard work and a mature knowledge of the year. Though he does score, Murray’s greatest asset, notes his award biography, is his ability to do all the little things that every coach respects.
Wilkie is a tremendous athlete who fell in love with basketball at an early age. Since then he has dedicated a great time of excelling at the sport.
He started becoming noticed for his high level of play while playing in the PEISAA midget league, and has continued to play very well as a first-year player at Westisle.
Wilkie’s dedication and hard work has allowed him to advance to the P.E.I. under-17 program, where his impressive play contributed to the team’s success at this year’s nationals.
As a Grade 7 student at Athena Consolidated School, Paynter started all his team’s games and played a key role in leading his team to an undefeated regular season and a bronze medal at the PEISAA provincial midget championships.
As a member of the Sting under-13 and P.E.I. under-15 development teams, Paynter played a significant role in the success of both teams. His bio goes on to say he has a great work ethic and desire to succeed that makes him a pleasure to coach.
Halupa’s primary focus is team play, with an emphasis on developing and improving individual skills. This enabled the Axemen to have one of the greatest seasons in the school’s history.
Halupa was selected as “coach of the tournament” at the Coal Bowl.
During the spring of 2012, Halupa organized a Summerside under-16 team that served as a development team for players that did not make provincial teams. Although the team did not win any of the tournaments they entered, the players were pleased with the experience and appreciated the opportunity to learn from a coach who wants them to succeed.
Anderson, who is from Summerside, has been involved in all facets of basketball on P.E.I. since 1975. Along with officiating, Anderson has served as a coach, league administrator, senior player and a coaching certification instructor.
Anderson has spent the past 37 years as a hard-working basketball official. Well-known in the P.E.I. school system, Anderson’s career has taken him to national events like the Canada Games, AUS and CIS national women’s and men’s championships, Canadian summer tournaments and the National Basketball League of Canada.
Anderson has also served on the P.E.I. Basketball Officials Association executive, a provincial interpreter, been a national evaluator many times, including the P.E.I. Canada Games in Summerside and has also been a provincial rules interpreter and officials evaluator as well as serving on the University College Board.
MacKay has been heavily involved in the basketball community for a number of years, and recently stepped up his involvement to a new level.
MacKay has been coaching the midget AA girls at Summerside Intermediate School for the past two years while at the same time founding and serving as the chairperson of the Summerside Spring Classic basketball tournament. This tournament, in only two years, has gained a reputation as one of the best organized minor tournaments in the Maritimes.
MacKay also lent his time and energy to the Red Rock Classic and Eastern Canadian championship tournaments, where he proved to be a scheduling guru. He also worked both tournaments as a gymnasium supervisor and emergency problem solver when needed.
MacIsaac is one of the founding fathers of the Kensington and Area Minor Basketball Association (KAMBA), and continues to be one of the most active volunteers in the system.
He coaches, facilitates fundraising activities, serves as the association’s treasurer and aids in all other aspects of KAMBA’s administration.
There is no question that Kensington is a better basketball town due to the dedication and hard work that MacIsaac brings to the role.
Basketball P.E.I. award winners:
Players of Year
Mini boys (under-12) – Jon Alex Voss, Charlottetown Tigers and Island Magic Under-13.
Mini girls – Samantha Strain, Charlottetown Tigers, P.E.I. under-13.
Bantam boys (under-14) – Cameron Paynter, Athena Hawks, Summerside Sting under-13 and P.E.I. under-15; Yousef Sefau, Queen Charlotte and P.E.I. under-15.
Junior male (under-17) – Kenan Wilkie, Westisle Wolverines and P.E.I. under-17; Patrick Murray, Three Oaks AAA and P.E.I. under-17.
Junior female – Madison Tompkins, Three Oaks AAA and P.E.I. under-17.
Senior male – Matt Morrison, Holland College.
Senior female – Susanne Canvin, Saint Mary’s University.
Coach of year – Faro Halupa, Three Oaks AAA boys.
Official of year – Rob Anderson, Summerside.
Volunteers of year – Scott MacKay, Summerside; Gary MacLeod, Charlottetown.
Administrator of year – John MacIsaac, Kensington Nor’Easters.