The Kalamalka Lakers pulled the upset, grounding the Fulton Maroons 45-42 in their opening game of the North Zone senior AA basketball championships Friday night at Vernon secondary.
The Lakers, who started three Grade 11s and one Grade 10, struggled against Fulton in the regular season, losing both league games. Katie Rogers filled in for the injured Kirsten Dodds at point guard as Kal played outstanding team defence to hold the Maroons to three points in the first quarter, earning a 17-15 lead at the half.
Fulton made a strong run in the third quarter to go up 30-28, but with less than two minutes remaining, Rogers hit a clutch three-pointer to tie the game 40-40. The Lakers capped a 6-0 run to seal the win, with Dana Epp leading the offence with 10 points.
Kaelyn Parmalee supplied eight points, Rogers had six and Jeevan Jaswal had five. Parmalee, Ashley Krause and Meghan Tetrault were tenacious on defence, while Tori Chabot, Tiffany Barkman, Justine Correia and Amanda Lewis had strong two-way games.
Tavia Lochhead was Fulton’s Game MVP with 14 points.
Said Fulton head coach Jim Inglis: “Kudos to Kal. They had us ill-prepared due to injury and the flu and took full advantage.
“To get any energy we had to go to a press, and having to shorten the bench ran us low on gas at the end.”
Inglis noted the Maroons were well below their usual 66 per cent free throw ability.
“The rust at the free throw line in particular hurt is. If we hit near our average we win easily,” he said.
“The silver lining is that we should have the rust removed for (Saturday against the Pleasant Valley Saints) and we have our players healthy if the flu leaves the rest of the lineup alone.”
The Lakers faced the first-place VSS Panthers Saturday night.
In other senior girls action, the Panthers, ranked No. 7 in B.C., had little trouble in stopping the Saints 91-21.
The Cats’ top scorers were Britney Walton, with 37 points and 10 rebounds, Emily Kanester, with 22 points, 12 steals, and six assists, and Michelle Smith, with a dozen points and eight boards.
The Cats dominated PVSS early, heading into the intermission with a 34-2 lead.
“We wanted to come out in our first playoff game and focus on us and make sure that we came out sharp and crisp, being consistent doing the little things and we felt like we did that for the most part,” said Bobby Mitchell, who co-coaches the Cats with Lonny Mazurak.
“We have to continue to do those things to be successful moving forward to the Zone championship game.”
In senior boys action, the older, stronger, faster Maroons overwhelmed the Panthers 107-46.
Greg Hyde canned a game-high 27 points and six rebounds for Fulton, who built a 37-7 lead after the first quarter.
Justin Lewis led VSS with 16 points.
“Our extra time practising looks like its had an effect on our offence,” said Fulton manager Riley Mottus.
Fulton’s starters opened the game strong, and their subs came in and kept up the pressure. Ben Olson had 17 points and Dalton Anderson supplied five rebounds.
Fulton faced PVSS Saturday.
In the other senior boys game Friday, the Saints hammered Kal 85-39.
The winners of the boys and girls North Zone titles will host Valleys, Feb. 24-26.