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Cats find Tessa’s tourney tough

The VSS Panthers met some highly ranked basketball teams in Surrey
Owen Sunderland of the Seaton Sonics slides past Michael MacDonald of South Kamloops Titans in the Seaton 27th Dtreet Junior Boys Basketball Invitational Saturday. (Lisa Mazurek/Morning Star)

The VSS Panthers took on some provincial heavyweights going 0-3 at Tessa’s Senior Girls Basketball Tournament at Holy Cross Secondary in Surrey.

The Cats played their best game of the tourney Saturday when they fell 46-38 to the top-five rated AAA Oak Bay Breakers of Victoria.

“The girls competed on both ends of the floor,” said VSS coach Lonny Mazurak. “We led at the half but a slow third quarter allowed Oak Bay to take a lead which they never relenquished.”

Kelsey Falk dialed up 24 points, while Mackenzie Horst canned 10 for the Panthers.

The St. Thomas Aquinas Fighting Saints of North Vancouver brushed back VSS 51-46 with the Cats taking an early 16-9 lead before the Saints finished the half on a 13-0 run.

“Going 9-for-22 from the free throw really hurt us,” said Mazurak.

Falk flushed 15 points, while Ashley Budgen and Kelsey Watts each netted six points for VSS.

The Whistler Storm earned a 10-point lead at the break and stopped the Panthers 48-45.

“The girls never quit, taking the lead late but a banked three was the difference as Whistler hung on for the win.,” said Mazurak. “Going 5 -for-16 from the charity stripe also did not help.”

Falk sank 17 points, while Budgen, Horst, and Sarah Crerar each netted seven.

“Overall, a good weekend for the girls but we do need to improve our free throw percentage as well as our finish in close,” added Mazurak.

The tournament honours Tessa Beauchamp, a highly popular Holy Cross student and provincial-team basketball player who died from cancer in 2012, at age 18.

VSS hosts the North Zone championships Friday and Saturday. The final goes Saturday, 7:45 p.m.

The Fulton Maroons mauled the visiting Okanagan Mission Huskies of Kelowna 94-65 in senior boys action.

Caden Doyle recorded 25 points and six rebounds, while Ike Olson counted 24 points and 11 rebounds and Nate Banga garnered 19 points and four assists.

“The boys played really well defensively; they’re getting more fit by the week,” said Fulton head coach Dale Olson.

The Maroons took on the Seaton Sonics in league play Tuesday night in preparation for the Rutland Voodoos Invitational starting Friday.

The George Elliot Coyotes of Lake Country went 3-0 to win the Seaton Sonics 27th Street Junior Boys Invitational.

Triston Hearn flushed 13 points as the Coyotes dispatched Seaton 41-35 Saturday night. Lucien des Mazes-Landry posted 23 points for the Sonics.

The Coyotes opened the four-team, round-robin with a 53-45 win over the South Kam Titans and then stopped the Sa-Hali Sabres of Kamloops 60-53.

Hearn sank 15 points versus South Kam, while Carter McConnell pumped in 15 and Hearn added 14 against Sa-Hali.

The Sonics lost 78-27 to South Kam and bowed 72-37 to the Sabres in their other games.

Raiden Yamaoka canned 23 points as South Kam iced Seaton with Owen Sunderland bagging seven points for the Sonics. Ben Anderson collected 16 points as Sa-Hali stuffed Seaton. Des Mazes-Landry rang up a dozen points for the Sonics.

Anderson pocketed 14 points as Sa-Hali grounded South Kam 55-48.

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