Cats net dramatic win at B.C.s

Vernon Panthers
Vernon Panthers' Quinsy Leier (from left) celebrates with teammates Megan Johnston, Sage Blundell and Heather Campbell after their last-second win over St. Thomas Aquinas in their B.C. Girl's Basketball Championship opener Wednesday in Kamloops.
— image credit: Dave Eagles/Black Press

Day 1 of the B.C. Senior AA Girls Basketball Championships and Vernon Panther co-coaches Bobby Mitchell and Lonny Mazurak were already stress cases.

Sage Blundell made a nice post move down low and buried a buzzer-beater as the cardiac Cats brushed back the St. Thomas Aquinas Fighting Saints of North Vancouver 65-63 in their opening game Wednesday afternoon in Kamloops.

“This was a battle right to the last second, with both teams having leads,” said Mitchell.

VSS, ranked No. 10, trailed by a point after the first quarter, but rallied to take a nine-point advantage into the break. With six minutes left in regulation, Aquinas nailed a pair of three-pointers to make it a two-point game, and then took the lead.

The Panthers’ Mary Rice and Jenna Marrion hit big free throws to equalize with three seconds left, and after a VSS timeout, Blundell drained the winner.

Game MVP Quincy Leier led the Cats with 20 points and 12 rebounds and Karley Fugel had 11 points and six boards.

“As coaches, we couldn’t be more proud of the kids for sticking together and coming up with the win,” said Mitchell.

“We have been playing great team basketball for a few weeks now and it is continuing on the big stage, so many players came in and did something to help us today.”

Vernon faced the Seycove Seyhawks of North Vancouver in quarterfinals Thursday. Seycove stuffed the South Okanagan Hornets of Oliver 80-63 in their Wednesday tilt.


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