Mustangs fall short in home tourney
A 30-10 half-time lead helped the Kalamalka Secondary Lakers from Vernon defeat the Princess Margaret Mustangs 45-29.
The win clinched the Mustang Mania senior girls basketball tournament held in Penticton over the weekend. The Lakers were hungrier, according to Mustangs coach Dave Killick, whose team has defeated the Vernon school twice this season.
“Kal is a tall, athletic team and they out-rebounded us at both ends of the floor,” said Killick, adding that the Mustangs must match their level of intensity and focus to win the rebounding battle. “They contested every shot and as a result we did not shoot the ball very well.”
Erin Gabriel led the Mustangs with 11 points while Rylee McKinlay added six. Kari-Grace Pym was the team’s top rebounder with 11.
The Mustangs opened the tournament with a 75–29 victory over Okanagan Mission Huskies of Kelowna. McKinlay was the top scorer with 16 points and added nine rebounds, while Brooklyn Pichette contributed 14 points, Abby Winstone chipped in 11, Dana Klamut nine, Payton Charlie and Callan Cooper each added eight.
Semifinal action had the Lakers defeat the Fulton Maroons 71–56. Klamut was the Mustangs leading scorer with 17 points, while Pichette dominated the stats sheet with 13 points, seven rebounds and five steals. Winstone chipped in 12 points, while Maddie Winter contributed six. Pym led the offence with 11 assists to go with her six points.
“For the most part we played very well this weekend,” said Killick. “Even in the final we battled to the very end.
The Mustangs coaching staff has been pleased with the contribution they get from different players each game.
“We always get good solid efforts from our grade 12 leaders (Pym, Pichette, Klamut and Winstone) but every game someone else really steps up and plays a major role,” he said. “Sometimes it is Cooper or Winter. This weekend we also got strong efforts from Chelsea George, McKinlay and Gabriel.”
The Mustangs host Oliver Wednesday at 5 p.m. in a game that will determine first place in the south zone. They then travel to George Elliot on Saturday to play a couple of exhibition games before the playoffs begin the following week.