Lakers down Saints, begin playoffs today
It was an emotional victory for the Pen High Lakers girls senior basketball team last Friday.
Lakers coach Chris Terris consoled Maxine Chapman who fouled out with 0.1 remaining in their final league home game, a 53-38 win against the NorKam Saints.
Terris said the group was happy with the final result considering the circumstance of this being the final hurrah for the Grade 12 players in the regular season.
"It's a tough game to play in a lot of ways," said Terris, referring to the Grade 12s, who they did a presentation for before the game. "There is obviously some pressure that goes with that. They are working to do well in front of their friends and family for the last time. We started all four of the Grade 12s, which isn't necessarily normally the case. They got us off to an 11-2 lead. Gave us momentum."
Emily Clarke finished with 18 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots, while Hayden Craig had 12 points and four rebounds. Kelsey DesRoches, a Grade 12, scored 10 points and collected seven rebounds. Terris was pleased with their play after having a tough game against the South Kamloops Titans the night before.
"It was nice for a bounce back and live another day," said Terris, whose group qualified for playoffs and play the Salmon Arm Jewels today.
DesRoches said she felt they left everything on the court. She liked how they executed their offence just like in practice and adapted to the Saints.
"They are a really aggressive team," said DesRoches. "They are always fun to play because we match up pretty evenly with them."
Grade 12 Adrienne Penner said they worked hard and it showed on the court. She liked how they flowed on the court better as they have been "choppy" of late.
Chapman said they played really well and has enjoyed the season with a group she has played with for four years.
"The team is just amazing people. I love them all," she said.
With the Lakers now in the playoffs, all four Grade 12s are excited and feel confident about what they can accomplish.
"We're definitely going to try and fight harder," said Makayla Montgomery.
For Penner, the emotion of playing her final regular season game didn't sink in her head until that day.
"Kind of weird actually," she said. "I feel really sad, but it hasn't really hit me yet."
The South Kamloops Titans and Kelowna Secondary School Owls receive a bye into the Valleys, which are being hosted by the Titans.
The Lakers are 6-5 on the season and sit fourth in the AAA Okanagan zone. In February, they lost 79-34 to the Owls, defeated the Salmon Arm Gold 56-32 and edged the Rutland Voodoo 70-67. They lost last Thursday to the Titans 66-46, Jordan Farmer finished with 12 points, and blew a lead against the Saints to lose 60-48. Farmer led the Lakers again in offence with 20 points.
Lakers coach Brad Findlay said they finished fourth and now get ready for the playoffs. Next Monday they host the South Okanagan Secondary School Hornets from Oliver in the Old Shoe game.