The gym was packed and noisy, and the VSS Panthers and Kalamalka Lakers responded in a superb high school basketball tilt Tuesday night.
John Garvie canned 22 points as the visiting Panthers held off the Lakers 75-71 in the senior boys exhibition.
Mitchell Pepper drained 17 points and Chris Inscho added a dozen for the Panthers, who are classed AAA this season.
Alwien Dippenaar delivered 15 points for the AA Lakers, who got 14 points and 11 rebounds from AJ Jhajj. Lucas Ross chipped in with 11 points and six steals, while Chris Gallant counted six assists.
The game was close all night with Kal leading 39-35 at the half.
“Both teams had to fight hard for their points with the Cats getting the lead at the end of the third quarter and not looking back,” said Laker assistant coach Justin Vanderham.
“It was a hard-fought game right from tip-off and made for a high-scoring night for the good-sized crowd. While both teams shot the ball very well, missed free-throws hurt the Lakers and VSS kept mistakes to a minimum which made the difference.”
The Panthers began play Thursday in the Kwantlen Eagles tournament in Surrey. Chris Oddy’s Lakers are in the Pen-Hi tourney today and head to the Coeur d’Alene Invitational, Jan. 2-4, in Idaho.
In North Zone senior AA boys league play, the Fulton Maroons rode 22 points from Mike Rouault to an 80-40 win over the Seaton Sonics Tuesday night.
Riley Beauchamp flushed 17 points and Davron Polok returned from injured reserve to drain a dozen points.
Fulton holds its annual alumni game Saturday with registration starting at 10:30 a.m. The Maroons visit the Panthers Tuesday, Jan. 7.
In junior boys action, Fulton brushed back Seaton 57-23.
Werenick Berg sank 16 points for the Maroons, while Kobe Romanovitch pocketed 14 and Bupi Banga counted 10.