The Penticton Secondary School junior girls Lakers and Summerland Rockets battled on the hardwood one more time before they leave to the Okanagan Valley Championship this weekend.
Going into the South Zone Championship as the top two teams, the finals played out just as all of the Lakers (ranked number one) and Rockets (ranked number two) head-to-head match ups had earlier this season — another barnburner.
Neither team held more than a two point lead for the entire game until the fourth quarter. The teams went into the locker room at the half tied 20-20. Lakers coach Lesley Lacroix said her squad managed to pull ahead by eight points in the final quarter, but strong inside rebounding by the Rockets cut that lead to one point with just two minutes left in the game.
“The game changer for the Lakers was some incredibly smart basketball by Sophie Brydon as she hit a running lay-up along with two assists to Jaden Yamamoto, giving us the six point lead to win the game,” said Lacroix.
Yamamoto led all scorers in the Lakers 42-36 win with 16 points and eight rebounds. Kayla Haukaas added nine points for the win. Maria Iannone continued to lead the charge at point guard with eight assists in the game. Lacroix said Rockets Karrah Roelfsma caused the Lakers a lot of trouble under their defensive boards, where she collected eight points.
Pen High hosted the South Zone Championship last weekend and the host Lakers came out strong on Friday defeating the Princess Margaret Mustangs 49-10. Leading all scorers was Dylan Capp of the Lakers with 18 points. Vanessa Herman played strong at the point guard position hitting two three-pointers and adding four assists.
Earlier on Friday, the Rockets defeated the Similkameen Elementary Secondary School Sparks handily 71-17. Top scorers for the Rockets were Brinay Burdick with 17 points and Faith Hendricks with 11.
The Sparks and the Princess Margaret Mustangs then met on Saturday for the third and fourth placement game with the Sparks coming out on top 36-23.
Top scorer for the Sparks was Cassandra Gibbs with 15 points, which included a trio of three-pointers. Zoe Vriends added eight points for the team in the win. Both Emma Flores and Crystal Krickmeyer scored eight points for the Mustangs.
The Lakers and Rockets advance to the Okanagan Valley Championships, Feb. 16 and 17, in Kamloops.