Vernon Panthers cruise to Subway final

Mitchell Pepper of the VSS Panthers goes for a basket against Liam Birker of Kelowna Owls Friday in the VSS senior boys basketball Subway Shootout Friday at the Panther Pit. - Lisa VanderVelde/Morning Star
Mitchell Pepper of the VSS Panthers goes for a basket against Liam Birker of Kelowna Owls Friday in the VSS senior boys basketball Subway Shootout Friday at the Panther Pit.
— image credit: Lisa VanderVelde/Morning Star

The Vernon Panthers advanced to the final of the VSS Senior Boys Basketball Subway Shootout Saturday at the Panther Pit.

The Cats went 2-0 in preliminary play Friday and faced the Princess Margaret Mustangs of Penticton in  championship game.

VSS opened the six-team tourney with a 69-62 stuffing of the Kelowna Owls, with game MVP Mitchell Pepper supplying a game-high 25 points.

Chris Inscho  chipped in with 15 points and Shelby Hartwig canned 13 points and 10 rebounds.

The first half was close, with VSS holding a 34-32 lead at the break. The Cats were up by 18 points by the fourth quarter, but turnovers made the game closer than it was.

Pepper potted 24 points as Vernon grounded the Summerland Rockets 87-71 Friday night.

Chris Inscho (game MVP) stepped up with 21 points and Hartwig delivered 15 points and 16 boards as the Cats demonstrated solid passing and defence to secure the win.

In other Subway Shootout action, the Rutland Voodoos swamped the Okanagan Mission Huskies of Kelowna 59-38; Maggie caged the Huskies 67-52 and outlasted Rutland 55-49; and Summerland clipped the Owls 56-46.

Game MVP Ajay Jhajj fired 17 points as the Kalamalka Lakers opened their Rock the Rim senior boys tournament with a 61-52 win over the Salmon Arm Golds Friday.

Dan Schager led the Golds with a dozen points.

Kal faced the Correlieu Clansmen of Quesnel in Saturday semifinal action.

Meanwhile, the Fulton Maroons were 1-2 after Friday action in the eight-team Sa-Hali Sabres senior boys invitational in Kamloops.

Dale Olson’s crew lost 57-55 to the D.P. Todd Trojans of Prince George and fell 82-74 to the Abbotsford Panthers in Friday action after opening with a 59-55 win over the Westsyde Whundas of Kamloops Thursday.

Mike Rouault drained 24 points against the Trojans, while Austin Richardson bagged 24 in the win, with Olson giving his entire roster some decent minutes.

At the Charles Bloom Timberwolves senior boys invitational Friday in Lumby, the Seaton Sonics used 16 points and 14 rebounds from Noah Ufimzeff in a 65-16 romp over the overmatched Clearwater Raiders.

Kuup Peters added 15 points and Luke Harrigan popped 10 to help the cause, as every single Sonic produced on offence.

Seaton battled Charles Bloom in Saturday semifinal action.

The Vernon Panthers pulled out a 67-64 overtime win over the Yale Lions of Abbotsford to open the KSS Owls tourney Friday in Kelowna.

The No. 10 AA ranked Panthers got offence from Sage Blundell (18 points, seven rebounds), Ashtyn McKenzie (12 points, 10 rebounds) and Quinsy Leier (10 points, 14 rebounds).

Trailing the No. 11 AAA Lions by eight points with four minutes to go, the Cats were sparked by the great defensive play of Megan Johnston and Megan Prentice.

Blundell drained a rebound to send the game into OT.

“As a team we talked about being consistent and rebounding the ball which we did a pretty good job of,” said VSS co-coach Bobby Mitchell. “When we do these things we feel we can play with any team out there.”


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