Junior Lakers battle hard in Snowy Owl Classic

Lakers junior girls basketball team takes sixth, while Grad 9 squad wins home tournament

An injury-riddled Pen High Lakers junior girls basketball team managed a sixth-place finish in the Kelowna Secondary School Snowy Owl Classic over the weekend.

The 12-team tournament featured the top teams in the valley and Lakers coach Dustin Hyde said his team did well playing with eight or fewer players in each game.

“I look forward to January as we should all be healthy,” said Hyde.

The Lakers started Thursday by losing to the Okanagan Mission Huskies 54-19. Olivia Tom was the Lakers player of the game with 10 points, eight rebounds and drew three offensive charges. On Friday,  the Lakers defeated the Salmon Arm Jewels 51-33. Annick Cole drained 15 points and collected six steals. Jollee Perrier scored 14 points and Tom had nine rebounds and eight points. On Saturday the Lakers played twice, the first being a 35-29 loss to the Vernon Secondary Panthers. Jean Grakul earned player of the game for her strong full court play and single handidly created 11 turnovers.

“This is her role on our team and she executed perfectly,” said Hyde.

Anderson chipped in seven points with five steals, Cole seven points with 11 boards and six steals. Tom grabbed 14 boards. In their final game, Kyra Wallace and Anderson each scored 11 points in a 41-35 loss to the South Kamloops Titans. Wallace earned player of the game as she added six steals to her offensive totals.

“Kyra did not play for our team last season but decided to this year,” said Hyde. “She is a welcomed addition to our squad as she is quick, strong and has a great sense for sports.”

Anderson pitched in 11 points and Tom had 10 points with eight boards.

The Lakers had Perrier for two of four games, but were without starters Hannah Clarke, Lyndzie Caron and Celine Francisco.

Grade 9 Lakers win home tournament

The Grade 9 Lakers girls basketball team rolled into the holiday season on a winning note by taking first-place in their home tournament.

The Lakers continued their improved play by defeating Keremeos, Fulton of Vernon and Dr.Knox from Kelowna. In their 40-22 win over Keremeos, Chloe Brydon put up 14 points, while Britney Young added eight. Young, Mattie Philip, Shaloa Street and Ashley Kiss provided pressure defence and good ball movement to key turnovers and fast breaks. The Lakers received strong rebounding from Emma Schnieder.

Against Fulton, a 47-38 win, the Lakers played with intensity and were tough on defence to control the match. Brydon again led the way with a 14-point effort, while Street, Philip and Haley Berisford contributed five points each. Key to the win was Schneider’s inside play and she rang up eight points in the second half. Schneider’s rebounding with Brydon and Berisford limited Fulton’s scoring chances.

Facing Dr. Knox was about avenging an earlier season loss. The coaching efforts of Bill Bidlake and Blair Haddrell paid dividends. The added depth and skill improvement of the bench allowed the starters to rest. Ashley Kiss and Tayedra Koppe were solid in both zones. A Lakers three-point first-half lead resulted in a 47-38 win. The Lakers received balanced scoring as Brydon had 12 points, Philip 11and Schneider, 10.

The team is looking forward to more improvement and challenges in 2015.