Lakers hosting Winter Classic hoop tourney

The Pen High Lakers are hosting an eight-team senior girls basketball tournament.

ANNICK COLE of the Pen High Lakers senior girls team sneaks a pass behind Salmon Arm Jewels defenders in 3A Okanagan Valley League play. The Lakers are hosting a Winter Classic tournament Jan.27 to 28 at Pen High.

ANNICK COLE of the Pen High Lakers senior girls team sneaks a pass behind Salmon Arm Jewels defenders in 3A Okanagan Valley League play. The Lakers are hosting a Winter Classic tournament Jan.27 to 28 at Pen High.

Eight senior girls basketball teams will test their game against each other during the Pen High Lakers Winter Classic Jan.27 to 28.

The Lakers open the Classic against Chilliwack at 2:45 p.m., then hit the court against Saturday against the Vernon Secondary School Panthers at 12:30 p.m. and play their final game at 7:30 p.m. against Richmond. Of the three teams, the Lakers have only faced VSS, who are third in the 2A provincial rankings. In that game the Lakers lost by 12.

Heading into this weekend, Lakers coach Dustin Hyde said he wants his team to build from the success they had at a Kamloops tournament earlier this month. They won two of three games picking up wins against Fulton from Vernon and Prince George. Hyde said it was a good weekend for his team, which he described as a “much needed rebound tourney.”

READ MORE: Video: Laker enjoys record-setting performance in win

In Kamloops several players stepped up in a way Hyde had not seen.

“It was a really good weekend for us after a tough one in Abbotsford,” said Hyde, where his team went winless in three games.

“We haven’t played a game yet this season where we have had everyone firing on all cylinders or everyone playing to their true potential or team playing to potential through four quarters.”

Hyde isn’t placing an importance on winning, but rather accomplishing team goals each game. He wants to make sure they execute to reach those goals.

“Just playing hard and being competitive,” he said.

The set up of the tournament is for teams to play others they will either be competitive with or be pushed and facing teams they don’t normally see. With each team playing three games, no official tournament winner is decided and Hyde said that is becoming the trend provincially. Hyde said teams, especially those traveling from a far distance, like to know exactly when they are playing so they can make their travel arrangements.

Pen High Senior Girls Tournament Draw by Emanuel Sequeira on Scribd

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