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Pictured: MWBA MVP Kaylee Kilpatrick of Saint John’s Port City Fog. Photo credit DWinstonPhoto

St. Stephen hosting women’s basketball tournament

By Regis Phillips Apr 25, 2024 | 1:40 PM

The game of basketball is no stranger to the town of St. Stephen. The Charlotte County town has a long-standing history of the game for years.

That reputation continues with the Battle at the Border. Four teams from the Maritime Women’s Basketball Association (MWBA) will compete for the World’s Oldest Basketball Court Cup.

The tournament will consist of the four New Brunswick MWBA teams: Port City Fog, Moncton Mystics, Fredericton Freeze, and Miramichi Her-icanes.

All the games will be played at St. Stephen High School. On Saturday, Moncton faces Saint John at 1:30 p.m. and Fredericton tangles with Miramichi at 3:30 p.m.

MWBA Founder Brad Janes said they initially thought of having a pre-season game between Fredericton and Saint John, but they wanted to tie in St. Stephen’s history of having the world’s oldest basketball court.

“Tom Liston, who is a major player behind the world’s oldest basketball court, and is a basketball fan and a New Brunswicker. He became involved and said ‘Why don’t we do something bigger,'” said Janes.

The championship game takes place Sunday at 1:30 p.m. The consolation game is set for 11:30 a.m.

Janes noted that a few youth teams will also be playing throughout the weekend.

On Saturday, the Fredericton Fusion Youth Program will play against the Port City Junior Academy at St. Stephen High. On Sunday, Basketball New Brunswick has eight youth teams playing at St. Stephen Middle School.

Janes said he’s also surprised by the family component for the league and tournament, with the fans in the crowd mostly being parents, grandparents, and the player’s kids.

“You go to a lot of university games in the region and see the youth as well, but I think a lot of our players are maybe neighbours, they’re the youth teacher, so it’s just a different feeling,” Janes continued.

“We really embraced the family component. Our tickets are family-friendly and we try to make it an event as well, so that’s probably the most pleasant surprise and it’s been a great surprise.”

Tickets are $5 for each MWBA game or $15 for a weekend pass. Children under 14 get in for free.

Tournament details can be found by clicking here.

The Halifax Thunder are the reigning Maritime Women's Basketball Association champions. Image: Submitted/DWinstonPhoto