Vernon Panthers play for Okanagan Valley gold

The Vernon Panthers went 2-0 to earn a berth in the Okanagan Valley Senior AA Girls Basketball Championship final Saturday at George Elliot Secondary in Lake Country.

The Cats opened with a 78-18 stuffing of the Valleyview Vikings of Kamloops Thursday, followed by a 62- 39 destruction of the Prince Margaret Mustangs of Penticton Friday.

Ashtyn McKenzie drained 14 points and had a career-best 18 rebounds to led VSS against the Vikes. Sage Blundell dialed up 14 points and five boards, Jessica Harvey had 10 points and eight rebounds, Jenna Marrion supplied 10 points, and Karley Fugel chipped in with nine points and nine rebounds.

“This was a solid defensive effort again from our team,” said VSS co-coach Bobby Mitchell.

Fugel paced the Panthers with 11 points and four boards against Maggie., while Mary Rice had 10 points and Quinsy Leier flushed eight points and nine rebounds.

“Maggie came out and played us tough,” said Mitchell. “It was a much closer game and they probably outplayed us in the first half.

“Karley Fugel and Mary Rice really showed some leadership and carried us a bit when we needed and our depth kept us going.

The Cats, who have secured a berth in provincials, faced the Sa-Hali Sabres of Kamloops in the Valley final.

The Kalamalka Lakers split their opening games at Valleys, starting with a 79-58 decision over the South Okanagan Hornets of Oliver Thursday.

Jordan Korol canned a game-high 20 points for Kal, with Kaelyn Parmalee netting 17 and Ann Stewart 15.

Kal’s offence struggled in a 57-42 loss to Sa-Hali Friday night.

Down by 10 at half, Reni Dolcetti’s Lakers couldn’t find a rhythm against a cohesive Sabres squad. Top scorers were Parmalee with 14 points Stewart with 10.

The Lakers faced the Fulton Maroons Saturday morning, the winner earning a chance to play for a berth to provincials later that night.

At the Senior AA boys championships in Kelowna, Fulton overcame a disappointing opening-day loss to ground the Panthers 91-53 Friday night.

Tye Kitzman sizzled for 29 points for the Maroons, who got 14 points from Austin Richardson and six from big Tanner Bishop.

Clark Richardson played a key defensive role for Fulton, who face the Westsyde Whudas of Kamloops Saturday.

Mitchell Pepper led VSS with 20 points, and Matt Forsythe chipped in with 14 points.

Fulton was a dismal 25 per cent from the field as they fell 75-55 to the Hornets in their Thursday opener.

VSS jumpstarted their Valley journey with an 89-56 loss to Sa-Hali.

Travis Barker  and Forsythe each hit 15 points for the Cats.

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