Mustangs coach happy with players' effort
A 70-50 loss to No. 6 ranked St. Thomas Moore of Burnaby on Monday ended the Princess Margaret Mustangs senior girls basketball season.
“We couldn't be more proud of the girls,” said Mustangs coach Dave Killick, adding his team played with toughness.
Killick said playing in the challenge game was an opportunity for his team to qualify for provincials and his group looked forward to that.
“For our graduating players, it was a good way to end their careers and hopefully for our Grade 11's, it showed them the level we will need to get to for next year,” said Killick, whose team finished fourth in the AA Okanagan Valley.
Dana Klamut led the Mustangs with 14 points, including sinking four three-point shots. Kari-Grace Pym had 12 points with nine rebounds, Rylee McKinlay scored eight with six rebounds and Abby Winstone added eight rebounds to go with five points.
The Mustangs could have qualified outright by placing third or better at the Valley Championship but lost the third-place game to Vernon’s Kalamalka Secondary School 68-40. After getting off to an early 11-7 lead, the Mustangs ran into foul trouble and couldn’t stop Kalamalka's momentum. Maddie Winter and Callan Cooper scored eight points each, while Pym had seven and Klamut six.
The Mustangs opened the tourney with a 71-69 victory over Vernon’s Clarence Fulton Lady Maroons. Pym led with 19 points, 16 rebounds and 10 steals. Klamut knocked down 16 points, while Winter and McKinlay chipped in eight each.
In the semifinal game, the Mustangs threw a scare into the No.1 ranked Vernon Panthers before finally falling 62-39.
This set up a must-win game against the Oliver Hornets to advance to the third-place game. The Mustangs finally prevailed 66-60. Pym led with 24 points and 21 rebounds while Brooklyn Pichette added 16 points. Cooper and Winter each chipped in nine points while Shayla Hearne played tough defense against the Hornets top scorers. Chelsea George came off the bench and provided the Mustangs with a much-needed shot of energy.
Killick said he and co-coach Jeff Goodis will return next year with a solid core of players plus juniors who were third at the Valleys (and the top AA school).
A third-place finish in the AA Okanagan Zone wasn’t enough to continue the Mustangs season.
With two berths available along with Kamloops’ host berth going to Sa-Hali, and Sa-Hali not making it into the final game, Kelowna Christian and South Okanagan are going to provincials.
The Mustangs lost to Kamloops’ Westsyde 56-46 their first game. That was followed up by a 74-65 win against Valleyview. The Mustangs then edged Sa-Hali 65-64 with Mitch Brodt hitting two clutch free throws and Justin Cantelon hitting a game-winning three-pointer with 10 seconds left. Facing the Fulton Maroons for third/fourth, the Mustangs won 77-64 as coach Brian Hurst said, “thanks to a great team effort, and good way to send off our seven graduating seniors.”
“It was disappointing for the boys not to have a chance to challenge for a berth to provincials, but it was a great weekend of basketball to end the season and satisfying to go out on a winning note,” he said. “The top three finishers in the valley tournament were from our South Central Zone, which speaks to the strength of our zone this year.”
Kelowna Christian beat South Okanagan 96-82 in the final.