Lakers learn from watching top teams at AAA provincials

Winning two of their four games at the 2014 AAA B.C. Secondary School Championships helped the Pen High Lakers finish 10th.

“It was an awesome weekend,” said Lakers senior girls coach Lesley Lacroix.

In their final game in Langley, the Lakers bowed to the Burnaby South Rebels, the Lower Mainland’s No.1 ranked squad, 69-67 in what Lacroix described as a nail biter.

“It was a solid defensive performance,” said Lacroix.

Ana Moroziuk led the Lakers’ attack against the Rebels with 18 points, while adding 12 boards and six steals. Hayden Craig dropped 17 points to go with eight boards. Emily Clarke, playing with a sprained ankle, finished with 14 and Natasha Reimer with 10. She also grabbed 15 rebounds.

The Lakers’ other loss was in the opener 56-54 against the Fleetwood Park Dragons. Craig led the Lakers with 17 points, while Moroziuk earned player of the game honours with 13 points and five steals. Lacroix said her team didn’t block out well or get the rebounds they usually do. Had that happened, Lacroix is confident they would have won.

The Lakers defeated the Mt. Baker Wild from Cranbook 77-27 and Victoria’s Claremont Spartans 70-56. Against the Wild, Haylee Robertson dropped 16 points, while Tessa Lannon-Paakspuu was named player of the game for playing with intense pressure that led to eight steals. She also finished with three assists and nine points. Against the Spartans, Annie Plant suffered a serious knee injury that seemed to rally the Lakers. Craig earned player of the game honours with a 23-point effort and 11 boards. Clarke and Moroziuk also had a double-double as Clarke finished with 17 points and 10 boards, while Moroziuk had 10 and 10.

“We belonged there,” said Lakers forward Jessie Garcha of their performance. “If we would have won our first game, the competition would have been tougher. It was still really good matchups. Seeing good teams play is an experience on its own. Just watching them ups your own game.”

Even though Lacroix was disappointed with the first loss, she added the draw put the Lakers on a side that allowed them to have success.

“The top three teams (1. Brookswood Bobcats, 2. Oak Bay Breakers, 3. Holy Cross Crusaders) are head and shoulders better than anybody else,” said Lacroix, as the Bobcats defeated the Breakers 64-57 for the championship. “Everybody else is sort of the same.”

A top-10 finish, the Lakers goal, allows them to get their name up on the wall in the Pen High gym for athletic achievements.

“The Langley Events Centre, it’s ridiculous how great it was,” she said. “It’s a first-class facility. The kids said they felt like rock stars.

“We’re Cinderella, we weren’t supposed to be there at all,” continued Lacroix, who credited Chris Terris and Dustin Hyde for the development of some of her players. “We’re still pretty jacked about this season.”


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