Sports

Lakers overcome roster shortfall with two wins

PEN HIGH LAKER Kyle Gratton (6) takes jump shot while guarded by South Kamloops Titans Reid Sellars (6) Drew Eliason (4) and Cooper Butchart (20). the Lakers won the game 65-62. - Allan Douglas/Black Press
PEN HIGH LAKER Kyle Gratton (6) takes jump shot while guarded by South Kamloops Titans Reid Sellars (6) Drew Eliason (4) and Cooper Butchart (20). the Lakers won the game 65-62.
— image credit: Allan Douglas/Black Press

The Pen High Lakers senior boys basketball team have made their coach proud.

With just eight players, the Lakers managed to win two of three games on the road in as many nights.

Kyle Gratton scored 17, while Jordan Farmer collected 13 points in a 55-45 win over the Salmon Arm Gold on Jan. 25. The next day, the Lakers lost to the NorKam Saints 59-50. Sunny Jhaj scored 23. During a 65-62 win against the South Kamloops Titans, Jhaj scored 23, while Gratton had 22.

Findlay said it was nice to see Jhaj score.

“He’s definitely working hard. When his outside shot is on, it brings something to the team we really need,” said Lakers coach Brad Findlay, adding that Gratton was also key. “It takes more than the guys putting the ball in the bucket to win. Every one of them stepped up.”

Findlay said it was difficult for his players in the circumstances they faced.

“To win the last game going into South Kamloops was a pretty tough task,” he said. “To win it at the buzzer basically, was pretty impressive.”

Findlay said the performance during the weekend showed their level of work ethic and their heart.

“Things you can’t necessarily coach,” said Findlay. “To go and battle and play that hard with no substitutions, it’s a tough task. That was a heck of a weekend for them.”

The Lakers, second in the league at 4-2, have also defeated the Mt. Boucherie Bears 45-34 and  the Rutland Voodoos 66-63. They are on a break right now with exams taking place. With the season half over, Findlay hasn’t been able to put his full team on the court. Illness and injury have prevented that.

The Lakers next game is Feb. 5 in Kelowna against the Owls. Their next home game is Feb. 9 when they host the Gold at 1:45 p.m.

 

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