Maggie girls grab fourth at Vernon hoops tourney

Senior girls' squad takes down two AAA en route to final

Callan Cooper of the Princess Margaret Mustangs drives past Morgan Marshall of Rutland Friday in the Vernon Secondary School Senior Girls Pit Classic.

Defeating the Sa-hali Sabres of Kamloops 71-67 helped the Princess Margaret Mustangs senior girls basketball team finish fourth in Vernon.

Offensively for the Mustangs, Megan Admussen-Blair led with 19 points, while Danielle Ruocco had 16 and Maddie Winter, 11.  Ruocco was named to the tournament all-star team.

Mustangs co-coach Jeff Goodis was pleased with the weekend results.

“We defeated two AAA teams, learned a lot in our loss to the top ranked A team in the province and fought back and forth with Sa-Hali, who we may have to beat out for a trip to the provincials in February,” he said. “We learned where our strengths and weaknesses are and will continue to address those.”

Mustangs co-coach Dave Killick said the difference between this tournament and their previous one at George Elliott is they have been executing their offence better.

“We were able to spend more time working on our zone offence, which we hadn’t been able to do leading up to the first tourney,” he said.

A 20-point effort by Admussen-Blair helped the Mustangs open the Vernon Secondary Panthers tournament with a 58-26 win against the AAA Rutland Voodoos. Ruocco chipped in 10 points, while Callan Cooper scored seven. Winter grabbed 10 rebounds along with Erin Gabriel.

Against the AAA NorKam Saints, the Mustangs came out on top of a physical battle, 67-54. The Mustangs were on fire from three-point range sinking eight shots. Admussen-Blair led with 27 points, while Taylor Corrie chipped in 13 and Ruocco added 12.  Rylee McKinlay led all rebounders with nine boards.

“She and Danielle played on the provincial team this summer,” said Killick when asked about the play of Admussen-Blair and Ruocco. “They both spent a lot of time working with Jeff on their game and it shows.”

The Mustangs faced the Immacullatta Mustangs, the top A team in B.C. and lost 56-32.

“We had trouble handling the intense full-court pressure being applied and committed numerous turn overs,” said Killick.

In the loss, Admussen-Blair had eight points and 12 boards, Corrie added seven points and Cooper contributed six.  McKinlay pulled down 10 rebounds.

What impressed Killick about his team’s play was when they defeated two AAA teams, they did it by running the floor.

“Now we need to work on our overall team toughness (strong on the ball, blocking out on rebounding) and being able to handle pressure,” he said.