Lapwai edges Tulalip in Junior Nationals b-ball tourney

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

1st place boys team, NimiiPuu Elite (Lapwat, ID)Photo/Lonnie Enick
1st place boys team, NimiiPuu Elite (Lapwat, ID)
Photo/Lonnie Enick


1st place girls team, Lapwai Wildcats (Lapwai, ID)Photo/Lonnie Enick
1st place girls team, Lapwai Wildcats (Lapwai, ID)
Photo/Lonnie Enick


As part of the 2015 7th Generation Mentoring program, Tulalip Tribes held the High School Junior Nationals Basketball Tournament over the weekend of May 16 and 17. The two-day tournament, featuring a boy’s bracket and girl’s bracket, brought out some of the best Native high school teams in the Northwest. The Lummi Blackhawks, Washington State Champions, the Lapwai Wildcates, Idaho State 2nd place team, and Tulalip’s own Young Gunz team, featuring Robert Miles Jr. and Bryce Juneau, were expected to be the contenders battling it out for tournament champion. On the girl’s side, it was just a matter of time before Tulalip’s team featuring Adiya Jones and Faye Chartraw would be playing Idaha State Champions, the Lapwai Wildcats, in the finals.

It’s worth noting that there were several teams who came from out of state to participate in the basketball tournament. Besides the boys and girls teams from Lapwai, Idaha (of the Nez Pierce), there was also a boys team from Wyoming and a girls team from Nevada who traveled the long distance to represent for their tribe and state.


2nd place boys team,Young Gunz (Tulalip, WA)Photo/Lonnie Enick
2nd place boys team,Young Gunz (Tulalip, WA)
Photo/Lonnie Enick


The boys Championship game featured the Tulalip Young Gunz vs. the Lapwai Wildcats. The Young Gunz got off to a terrible start and were unable to break the full-court press applied by the Wildcats. A little more than midway through the 1st half the Young Gunz found themselves trailing 12-27, and at halftime they were down 19-30. In the 2nd half, the Wildcats went out of their full-court defense and that allowed the Young Gunz to mount a bit of a comeback, getting with 6 points, 48-54 with 4:00 left to play. The Wildcats were just better at executing their offence and seemed to force turnovers at will, which ultimately won them the game and the tournament.


2nd place girls team,Tulalip Elite (Tulalip, WA)Photo/Lonnie Enick
2nd place girls team,Tulalip Elite (Tulalip, WA)
Photo/Lonnie Enick


The girls Championship game also featured a Tulalip vs. Lapwai Wildcats matchup. The Tulalip team, coached by Charlotte Jones, did their best to keep up with the State Champions from Idaho, but the speed and tempo of the game favored the Lady Wildcats. In the end, the Lady Wildcats won the game, resulting in a Lapwai sweep of both the boys and girls brackets. Tulalip represented and took 2nd place in both sides of the bracket.

Lonne Enick, tournament coordinator, said of the weekend’s basketball festivities, “Another successful tournament in Tulalip. Thank you to all the people for coming out and supporting their teams.”


Photo/Micheal Rios
Photo/Micheal Rios


BOYS Division:
1st – NimiiPuu Elite (Lapwat, ID)
2nd – Young Gunz (Tulalip, WA)
3rd – Blackhawks (Lummi,WA)
GIRLS Division:
1st – Lapwai Wildcats (Lapwai, ID)
2nd – Tulalip Elite (Tulalip, WA)
3rd – Nevada BallHogs



Contact Micheal Rios,