Junior Lakers ready for playoffs

The Lakers won two games in the Sweet 16 Junior Girls’ Basketball Championships at Immaculata.

The Pen High Lakers took two of four games in the Sweet 16 Junior Girls’ Basketball Championships at Immaculata Jan. 26 to 28.

The Lakers ended the tournament losing 56-53 to Panarama. Kalli Doel led with 14 points, while Jennifer Hayman chipped in 10. Hayman collected nine boards, while Doell had seven boards and five steals. Olivia Devito was named player of the game as she collected five points, three assists and two steals. In the final minute, Hayman hit a three to put the Lakers up by one, then Panarama scored one to retake the lead by two.

“Moving forward, we needed a series of really hard-fought games,” said Lakers coach Chris Terris. “We go back to practice with a great idea of the key areas we need to focus on to get better.”

Terris praised the performances of Grade 9 call-ups Jayden Yamamoto, Maria Iannone and Sophie Brydon, who had great moments. Doell was named a first team tournament all-star, while Kali Loewen was named to the second team.

The Lakers opened by thumping Grand Forks 62-12. Hayman was named player of the game with nine points and nine boards. In their second game, the Lakers earned a 40-35 win over Delta. Doell was named player of the game with 10 points and six steals. In their third game, the Lakers lost 52-36 to Semiahmoo. Emma Terris earned player of the game with three points, three boards and three steals.

In South Okanagan Zone Play, the Lakers, ranked third provincially, doubled up the Mustangs 44-22. Loewen and Doell scored 14 and 13 points, respectively. Hayman led with nine boards. The Lakers finished league play with a 6-0 record, while the Mustangs were 5-1. The playoffs began on Tuesday and the Lakers will host the winner of Princeton and Similkameen Secondary on Friday at 5:30 p.m. The Mustangs play Oliver Secondary at Pen High at 4 p.m. The championship game will be played Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Pen High.

Lakers junior boys

The Lakers took second at Oliver’s Sagebrush Shootout.

The Lakers defeated South Okanagan 52-40, Mount Boucherie 46-38 and Fulton 62-55, and lost to Westsyde, a top Kamloops squad, 59-44.

“The Westsyde game was a hard fought battle that we played solid for three of the quarters, but we had a very rough third quarter that allowed Westsyde to get a good lead,” said Lakers coach Brian Hurst.

The Lakers were led by Ross Millar and Austin Afonso offensively all weekend. Millar had 28 points against South Okanagan and Afonso had 24 against Fulton including hitting four shots from three-point range.

The Lakers wrapped up league play on Feb. 2 with a 56-42 victory over Maggie. The Lakers were sparked by the hustle and defence of Darren Keilty. Millar once again led with 32 points.

This week the Lakers are in Keremeos playing in the zone semifinal on Friday. Keremeos is the top seed, while the Lakers are No. 2. The top two teams at zones will qualify for the Valley championships in Kamloops Feb.17 to 18.

“We need to keep improving our intensity on defence, and increasing the ball movement and our players off the ball movement in order to be successfull in the next couple weeks,” said Hurst.