Cats battle B.C.’s best

The VSS Panthers went 2-2 while facing some of the province’s elite teams in the York House Tigers Senior Girls Basketball Tournament in Vancouver.

The Panthers’ Bobbie Jones fends off a double team in the York House Tigers Senior Girls Basketball Tournament last weekend in Vancouver.

The Panthers’ Bobbie Jones fends off a double team in the York House Tigers Senior Girls Basketball Tournament last weekend in Vancouver.

The VSS Panthers went 2-2 while facing some of the province’s elite teams in the York House Tigers Senior Girls Basketball Tournament in Vancouver.

The Cats finished play Saturday by falling 90-57 to the No. 2 Holy Cross Crusaders of Surrey.

“Holy Cross got off to a fast start and never looked back,” said Bobby Mitchell, co-coach alongside Lonny Mazurak. “We managed to get to within 12 points in the third but Holy Cross had a strong final push for the win.”

Emily Kanester canned 20 points and 10 rebounds, while all-star Michelle Smith recorded 18 points and seven rebounds and Brit Walton added eight points and seven rebounds.

Earlier, the Cats bowed 82-42 to No. 1 York House with Walton pocketing 20 points and six rebounds.

The Tigers jumped out to a 25-3 first-quarter lead by forcing several turnovers.

“We were proud of our girls who came out from half time and played hard right to the finish,” said Mitchell, whose team is now ranked No. 6.

Kanester rung up 10 points and six rebounds, while Smith chipped in with six points and seven boards.

“Overall we must have got better as we played the number one, two and fourth-ranked teams in the province, and getting better is always our goal,” said Mitchell. “We know we have things to work on and we will do just that. Rookies Abbey Jones and Bailey Limb really showed they are ready and belong here with great weekends.”

VSS opened by brushing off Crofton House Cubs of Vancouver 71-60 behind 19 points by Walton and a dozen by Smith. Kanester added 11 points and eight rebounds.

In their third game early Saturday, the Panthers iced the Sa-Hali Sabres of Kamloops 61-56 behind 24 points and 10 rebounds from Kanester, collecting one of two double doubles on the weekend.

Walton drained 20 points and eight boards, while Smith netted seven points. Bobbie Jones and Kailee Streichert did a great job on the boards, recording eight and seven rebounds respectively.

The Fulton Maroons toppled the George Elliot Coyotes 72-62 Saturday to win the Coyotes’ four-team senior girls tournament.

Game MVP Tavia Lochhead fired 22 points for the Maroons, who trailed 35-31 at the half. Amanda Sakamoto and Karlee Webb each nailed 18 points.

Nicky Sellinger counted 15 points for the Coyotes, while Yax Brandace and Arden Boehm each sank 14.

“George Elliot hit some outrageous threes to stay in this and with the three Grade 10s in the lineup and Kelsey (Thompson) out, we seemed to lose both our team concept and our composure just a little in the second quarter,” said Fulton coach Jim Inglis.

“In the second, we seemed settled from the outset and Tavia (Lochhead) and Amanda (Sakamoto) did a much better job of forcing the play without turnovers and the teamwork reappeared.

“Melissa Silva again was outstanding but fellow Grade 11s Ty Souque and Danika Serafin certainly did more than their share to turn things defensively. Our Grade 10s (Sam Ferrier, Hana Ouchi and Danielle Olson) certainly got over their jitters and proved they are ready for this level.”

Fulton visits the Pleasant Valley Saints Saturday night in league play.