Morning Star Staff
A pair of Vernon schools were in provincial quarterfinal basketball games Thursday afternoon at the Langley Events Centre.
The No. 8 Fulton Maroons met the top-ranked St. Michael’s University Jaguars of Victoria in the senior AA boys tournament, while the No. 6 VSS Panthers faced No. 3 St. Thomas More Knights of Burnaby in the senior AA girls sweet 16.
Fulton brushed back the ninth-rated Notre Dame Jugglers of Vancouver 64-55 Wednesday afternoon behind 27 points and a dozen rebounds from Michael Rouault, who played the entire 40 minutes. Rouault was 7-for-12 from the charity lane.
“We didn’t shoot well,” said Fulton coach Dale Olson. “We were 24 of 70 from the field but that’s not unusual coming into a new gym. Everybody, except Oliver (Hornets), was having trouble.”
Tye Kitzman pocketed 16 points and five boards in 38 minutes for the Maroons, while Riley Beauchamp bagged 11 points and six boards in 31 minutes. Cory Ang-Hamilton supplied seven rebounds and four assists, while Darrien Broomfield recorded six points and seven boards.
Fulton went up by 20 points in the second half before Aldrich Berrios buried three treys in a row for Notre Dame. Berrios finished with 23 points.
Olson said his group was focused and fully prepared to give St. Mike’s a good run. The Jags opened with a 91-44 ambush of 16th-ranked Mt. Elizabeth Eagles of Kitimat.
“You gotta play them sometime,” said Olson. “And we have a good chance. They play the same way we do, dribble and drive. It’s all going to come down to shooting.”
On the girls’ side, the Panthers shaded the No. 11 Abbotsford Christian Knights 49-48 in a Wednesday afternoon thriller in the Telus championships.
Down 48-45 with a minute to go, the Cats clawed back with three free throws from Karley Fugel in the last minute.
Said Panther coach Lonny Mazurak: “It was a tie game with seven seconds to go. We played great defence to get a steal and Megan Prentice gets fouled on the lay-up. She misses the first free throw but makes the second with two seconds left.”
VSS led 14-7 after one quarter with Prentice sinking six points. It was 26-21 Abby at the half.
“The Fugel sisters were huge in the fourth quarter as Karley had nine points and Kristy six points,” added Mazurak.
Karley Fugel finished with 17 points in 34 minutes playing time, while Kristy Fugel collected a dozen points in 22 minutes. Prentice finished with seven points, while Jordan Korol had five.
“We face a difficult opponent in the quarterfinal,” said Mazurak, of the Knights, 73-54 winners over No. 14 Lambrick Park Lions of Victoria in their first game.
Meanwhile, the Charles Bloom Timberwolves opened the B.C. Senior A Girls Championships in Lumby by falling 91-54 to Cedars Christian Eagles of Prince George Wednesday night. Hannah Pudlas pulled down 23 points for the Eagles.
The No. 14 T-Wolves, who started with three Grade 10s on the floor, got the crowd going with some determined play, especially in stretches in the second and third quarters when they matched the defending silver medalists well.
Said Bloom Katherine Norman, who coaches alongside Jennie Currie: “We are so proud of our girls. We knew it was going to be a tough game against the third-ranked team. Playing in front of our home crowd was inspiring.”
Jenna Mulholland drained 17 points for Bloom, while Player of the Game Lisa Campeau kept the intensity up the whole game, backed up by Vicky Grahn, Abby Lagerquist and Brianne Robertson. Shelby Bauml received the Inspirational Player of the Game.
Said coach Currie, a 1992 Bloom grad: “Shelby never gave up all game. Along with Buster Marsh and Amy Verhage, she battled hard under the hoop to use our height advantage. With our first game jitters out of the way, things are only going to get better.”