Express pull out of Vernon victorious

A 38-38 tie with South Kamloops Secondary School Titans helped the KVR Express clinch a Grade 8 girls basketball tournament.

A 38-38 tie with South Kamloops Secondary School Titans helped the KVR Express clinch a Grade 8 girls basketball tournament.

Hosted by Clarence Fulton Secondary School Maroons in Vernon last weekend, the game ended in a tie because it went into double overtime. The tournament director made the decision to call it a tie with games behind schedule.

“It’s a bit funny. Ties are rare in basketball,” said Express coach René Aubin. “This is our second this year.”

Their first one came against the Fulton Grade 9 team earlier this season.

Aubin, in an email, described the game with the Titans as good for them against a feisty team.

“We were down nine points in the fourth quarter and during a time-out I challenged the girls to go get the game,” he said.

The Express responded as Cali Anderson made a three-point shot, followed by a steal by Annick Cole, who fed the ball to Kyra Wallace for another key shot to get KVR within striking distance.

“That was the turning point of the game,” said Aubin. “The momentum really shifted after that sequence.”

On Saturday, KVR beat Fulton 42-29 and in their third game the Express handled the Vernon Secondary School Panthers, winning 54-22. Heidi Robertson and Olivia Tom played good defence to control the post play.

The earlier tie helped the Express win the tournament based on a format that determined the champion on point differential. KVR won by a plus-five difference over SKSS.

Aubin said that Lyndzie Caron was a dominant player averaging 17 points, 11 rebounds, and six steals per game.

“Lyndzie is athletic and big,” said Aubin. “On top of that she has a high basketball IQ. Teams have a hard time figuring out how to defend her since she can play inside or outside depending on the matchup.”

Anderson led the offence and distributed the ball well. She averaged seven assists and eight points per game. Cole stood out on defence with 21 steals over the weekend, while Tom and Robertson contributed with seven rebounds each per game. Wallace, Tianna Apps and Tom were recognized with player of the game prizes. Caron, Cole and Tom received team recognitions.

“What I am most pleased about from this weekend was our consistency on defence,” said Aubin. “This was the best defence that we have played as a team. Our focus was to play the entire defensive time in our proper stances and in proper positions. The girls bought into the philosophy and we are formidable when we play with that much commitment on defence and overall desire to win.”

The Express are hosting their annual Hooperbowl tournament today and Saturday. The Hooperbowl features nine boys and eight girls teams from around the Okanagan and the Fraser Valley. The games are being played at KVR, Skaha Lake Middle School, and Pen High.