Vernon Panthers collect PIT crown
Another year, another VSS Panthers-Immaculata Mustangs final in the annual PIT Senior Girls Basketball Classic.
The AA Panthers brushed back the defending provincial A champions from Kelowna 70-52 in Saturday night’s final.
Classic MVP Karley Fugel registered 19 points and 15 boards for the Cats, while tourney all-star Jordan Korol earned 15 points and a dozen rebounds and Jordyn Cullum rung up 16 points and nine boards.
“After a slow start, we were able to beat Immaculata’s full-court pressure and score some easy hoops in transition as well as getting some inside baskets in our half-court offence that allowed us to build a lead in the third quarter of 27 points,” said Panthers’ associate coach John Keeley, working alongside Lonny Mazurak.
VSS slammed the Sa-Hali Sabres of Kamloops 74-32, while Immaculata ambushed the Princess Margaret Mustangs of Penticton 56-32 in the semifinals.
Cullum collected 10 points and eight boards and Fugel pocketed eight points and 14 boards.
Said Mazurak on Fugel’s MVP performance: “She played extremely well, scoring and rebounding despite often being triple-teamed by the other team.”
The Outstanding Defensive Player award went to Lindsay Lalach of Immaculata. The Most Unselfish Player was Anna Rice of VSS, who recorded near double-digit assists in almost every game, brought the ball up-court under constant pressure and hit key baskets when she did shoot.
The Panther Pride award went to Megan Johnston, who disrupted the flow of the other teams’ game so much that she was actually punched in the nose by an opposing player. Panther game stars Saturday were Megan Prentice and Cullum.
The Junior Panthers went 2-2 at the KSS Snowy Owl Classic in Kelowna.
After losses to the Mt. Boucherie Bears of West Kelowna and South Kamloops Titans, the Panthers upended Immaculata 55-18 Saturday morning, behind 17 points and seven steals from Brianna Falk.
Co-players-of-the-game Sheyna Camalush and Reilly Lorenson flushed 10 and eight points respectively.
Later that day, the Panthers dispatched Princess Margaret 46-23 with tourney Top Defensive Player Taryn Kreeft dialing up nine points, matched by Falk. Mikaela Pfannschmidt added eight and game MVP Rhiannon Lutzke collected five points, three rebounds and two steals.
Co-coaches Clint Kanester, Michele Wiebe and Howie Falk agreed: “The team responded well after the two tough losses and bounced back with a couple of good efforts. We have a young group this year with 12 Grade 9s and only four Grade 10s. We look forward to greater consistency in the months to come from this young squad.”
The Charles Bloom Timberwolves went 3-1 at the Osoyoos Rattlers senior girls tournament, opening with a 48-26 win over Stanley Humphries Rockettes of Castlegar behind the hot shooting of Cheyenne Krog.
The T-wolves then smothered the Nakusp Cougars 60-22 win with MVP Jenna Mulholland driving to the hoop and hitting outside shots.
In their third game of the day, Bloom bounced Grand Forks Wolves 62-14 with Shelby Bauml receiving MVP for her leadership.
The T-wolves fell to the Rattlers in the final (no score reported) after being unable to hold back their aggressiveness and outside shooting. MVPs were Brianne Robertson and Vicky Grahn for their defence and ability to see the floor.