Morning Star Staff
The Ridge Meadows Burrards stopped the North Okanagan Legends 8-5 Sunday in the gold-medal final of the Legends Bantam B minor lacrosse tournament at Nor-Val Sports Centre.
It was a breakout weekend for the North Okanagan Bantam Bs as they faced tough competition from Vancouver and the Fraser Valley and the team performed at a new level.
After losing their opener 6-3 to Chilliwack Mustangs Friday, they roared back with perhaps their best two performances of the season and won both games convincingly, 13-3 over North Shore Eagles and 9-5 over the Shuswap Outlaws. The Legends grounded Ridge Meadows 4-1 in Game 2 Saturday.
Continuing their usual prolific scoring, Jacob Defeo and Jaxx Collard jumpstarted the offence all weekend, while newcomer Damian Glover also tallied several times in most games.
Matt Latham returned from a three-game suspension and earned Game MVP honours Saturday versus North Shore.
Ever-steady Derek Pereboom did his usual great job of keeping the team upbeat when they lagged and gave them a chance to win every time out on the floor.
The big bodies of Jakob Aeichele and Tayber McLean played a key role in keeping the other team’s second-year players in check and providing space for their teammates.
Isaac Combs showed his defensive development and played great positional defence in both games Sunday. Sparkplug Kaleb Pachal showed endless tenacity and fought tirelessly in the final.
Tye Krause fired in a beautiful goal around a screen in the medal match and gave North Okanagan a chance to fight back from a three-goal deficit.
Playing strong at both ends of the floor, Thomas Pain and Colby Kokonis earned assists far beyond what the scoresheet tallied. Joey Mazzei showed his development with numerous cuts in from the crease position and had a plethora of scoring opportunities right on the doorstep of the Burrard net.
Tireless Ethan Harshenin delivered some beautiful plays flying off the bench for fastbreak opportunities.
Two thirds of the Legends are first-year players and even with the age and size difference, they play with grit and moxy.
The Legends have three remaining league games, zone playoffs, and then the much anticipated provincial playdowns. The B.C. finals go July 15-17 in Vancouver.
Jeff Pain is the Legends’ head coach, assisted by Brian Harshenin.
The Tim Hortons North Okanagan Pee Wee B Legends , coached by Mike and Amy Fox, lost 4-3 to Kamloops and 10-1 to Penticton.
Connor Roberson recorded his first goal of the season, assisted by Nate Benn. Chayton Marchand and Cam Ward added the other goals. Kal-Lee Bonneau chalked up an impressive 14 shots.
Captain Adam Zimmerman counted the lone goal as Vernon lost to Penticton playing with a short bench.
Tim Hortons open their Rock The House Tournament today at 3:30 p.m. versus Coquitlam at Priest Valley Arena. The Legends take on Burnaby (11:30 a.m., Kal Tire Place) and Nicola Valley of Merritt (2:30 p.m., Priest Valley Arena) in other preliminary play.
Cameron Ward, who posted a five-goal game earlier this season, and veterans Gabe James, Bryce Gullickson, Jacob McConnachie, Zach Young and Marchand are expected to show leadership this weekend.
The North Okanagan Novice #3 Legends went 3-0 last weekend, opening by icing the Penticton Heat 8-7 with Kohen Pounder, Aidan Wattie and Charlie Demers counting deuces. Roadrunner rookie Heesu Kim provided tenacious defence.
Wattie supplied 3+1 and Waylen Stowards added two goals as the Legends outlasted Kelowna #2 9-8 with Taylor Robins-Swanson in net. Pounder provided six snipes as the Legends dispatched Kamloops Novice #1 15-8. Mattias Roth (4), Demers (3) and Wattie (2) also had stat nights. Kian Yargeau posted four helpers.
The North Ok Tyke #2 Legends fell 6-4 to Kelowna and 4-2 to Kamloops.
Maddex McKim, with a deuce, Aaron Teichrob and Wyatt Stowards scored against Kelowna, while Jesse Johnson and Stowards converted versus Kamloops.