Morning Star Staff
The Kalamalka Lakers used a balanced offence to ambush the Salmon Arm Golds 93-60 in Saturday’s finals of the Kal Rock The Rim Senior Boys Basketball Tournament.
Game MVP Ajay Jhajj supplied 26 points, 11 rebounds and six assists to jumpstart the Lakers, while captain Chris Gallant added 15 points, six rebounds and seven assists
Lucas Ross drained 14 points and earned four steals, while Alwien Dippenaar netted nine points and nine boards.
“With six Lakers scoring nine points or more, it made for a very tough team to beat as the Lakers played their best game of the season hands down, against a 3A school,” said Laker assistant coach Justin Vanderham.
“Kalamalka’s passing and ball movement was crisp, and their pure hustle was contagious to help them take their home tournament title.”
Chris Oddy’s Lakers amassed an early 24-5 lead as they set a torrid pace.
Kal stopped the L.V. Rogers Bombers of Nelson 65-58 in the semifinals with Gallant getting 23 points and six assists as he was relentless diving for loose balls.
Jhajj flushed 13 points, while Nick Stanhope pulled down 13 rebounds.
The Seaton Sonics bowed 70-58 to the Ashcroft Golden Rams in Saturday’s final of the Charles Bloom Timberwolves senior boys tourney.
Matt McEachran-Law nailed three treys and finished with 17 points for Seaton, while Christian LaCasse was solid with 15 and 11 boards. McEachran-Law made the tournament all-star team, averaging 24 points a game.
Earlier Saturday, McEachran-Law dialed long distance four times, went 6-for-6 from the charity stripe and ended up with 33 points as Seaton grounded the Barriere Cougars 73-42. Caleb Iszkes took Sonic MVP with nine points, four steal and dynamic defence.
The Timberwolves grounded the Heritage Christian Saints of Kelowna 62-53 in the consolation final.
“I was very happy with the way our boys responded in front of a pretty big crowd,” said Bloom coach Nathan Lee. “This was a game that was closer than we wanted it to be; a team that was very hungry and intense — just what we need at this point in the season. The boys play very hard and are pushing back when they need to — this is a fun group to coach.”
Nine Bloom players hit the scoresheet, led by Peter Ufimzeff with 17, Matt Grahn with 16, and Grade 10 rookie Nick Michaud with nine. Tommy Dyck and Jared Sexsmith were beasts on the boards, pulling down 11 and nine boards respectively.
The VSS Panthers stuffed the Summerland Rockets 99-33 and rocked Pen-Hi Lakers 70-29 to finish their round-robin tourney Saturday.
The AAA Cats held a comfortable 46-13 lead at the half and never looked back against Summerland. With starter Andy Hladik injured, Liam Paulsen stepped in and played strong defensively. Ty Thomas canned 27 points and Chris Inscho rung up 19.
VSS grabbed a 37-4 first-half lead against Pen-Hi. Thomas produced 18 pts and Inscho drained 15.
In other Saturday action, the Okanagan Mission Huskies iced Pen-Hi 94-59, while the Huskies brushed back Summerland 88-66.
The Fulton Maroons lost 50-48 to the Westsyde Whundas in Saturday’s thrilling Sa-Hali Sabres’ final.
“There was great defence by both teams,” said Fulton coach Dale Olson. “We had a chance on the last play on a lob but it was in and out. It was a good game and the fifth time we have played Westsyde this year.”
Mike Rouault recorded 19 points and 12 rebounds for the Maroons, while Sanjay Dhand sank 11.
Fulton is ranked No. 8 and Westsyde 10th in the provincial AA poll. St. Michaels University School Blue Jags of Victoria are No. 1.
Fulton entertains VSS in exhibition play tonight at 8:15 p.m.