Penticton Heat’s under-14 field lacrosse team capped off a dominating season with a Interior Field Lacrosse zone championship
The Heat captured the title with a 10-7 win over the Kamloops Rattlers in Vernon.
“I felt like we were in control of the game from start to finish,” said Heat coach Dan Chetner, who watched his team pound Kelowna 16-2 in the morning, yet not play to his standards. “We were much better against Kamloops.”
Executing the basics helped Penticton win the zone championship for the second time in three years. Chetner said his players supported each other on offence, found open holes and played strong defensively. The Heat did have some breakdowns which resulted in the Rattlers scoring.
“They were a tough team to play against,” said Penticton U14 defenceman Connor Ramage. “I think we did really good. We had some mistakes, but we came back in the end and fixed them and beat them.”
“When we did play to our capabilities, we were able to dominate,” said Chetner, adding that his players worked hard to become champions and now they get to challenge themselves outside at the provincial championship in February in Burnaby.
The Heat’s under-12 team lost to the Kelowna Kodiaks 9-2 in their semifinal match. While coach Chris Danby acknowledged the Heat wasn’t expected to win, there was a glimmer of possibility because of past successes.
“We didn’t play like we have when we had those close games,” said Danby, adding that defensive breakdowns hurt them.
Danby saw good things from his team early, such as their ability to clear the ball from the zone. The Heat were down 4-1 at the half and had some strong moments. “We had some chances. We didn’t capitalize on them,” said Danby.
Both Penticton teams will travel to Richmond for a tournament.
Chetner said this is their first chance to see and play against competition outside the valley.
“That will be educational for me and a good experience for the team just get a better picture of where we do sit in comparison to the other teams in the province,” said Chetner. “Richmond will be a good measuring stick for them.”
The U14 squad will also use that trip to celebrate their IFL championship.