Heat finish 4-2 in hoops

North Vancouver’s Venue Kings ambushed the Okanagan Junior Heat 71-21 in the quarterfinals

Kelsey Falk

North Vancouver’s Venue Kings ambushed the Okanagan Junior Heat 71-21 in the quarterfinals of the first ever National Club U17 Girls Basketball Championships in Langley.

Head coach Bobby Mitchell took a roster of players from Kelowna, Vernon, Armstrong and Lumby.

“They were clearly the better team and we struggled to finish, missing a number of easy shots,” said Mitchell.

Jaeli Ibbetson of the Kelowna Owls scored 14 points and was named player of the game for the Heat.

The Heat went 4-2, including a 48-41 win over the Vancouver Diamonds in an exhibition tilt.

“This was a fantastic experience for us and I am very proud of this group as we just put this team together a few weeks prior to the championship,” added Mitchell. “With everyone able to return next year we are very excited and already planning next year’s event.”

The Heat opened with a 45-37 win over B.C. Gold with game MVP Kasey Patchel of Kelowna and Ibbetson canning timely treys.

In Game 2, the Junior Heat fell 71-54 to Big Country of Ontario with Kelsey Falk of the Vernon Panthers pocketing 26 points and 11 rebounds for player of the game.

The Heat then brushed back the Edmonton Swoosh 54-49 in a thriller which saw Ibbetson drain a late three-pointer for security. Ibbetson flushed 18 points for MVP.

In Game 4, the Heat ransacked Vancouver Strathcona 68-38 with Jessica Verhage of Lumby’s Charles Bloom Timberwolves earning player of the game with nine points.

Patchell was player of the game with 14 points and five assists in the friendly against the Diamonds.