Titans topple Vernon Panthers in Langley hoops final

Vernon Panthers forward Maddy Hackman (15) prepares to reject a lay-up attempt from Kiana Kaczur of the South Kamloops Titans during the final of the Tsumura Invitational Rising Stars senior girls basketball tournament Dec. 15-17 in Langley. (Langley Events Centre photo)Vernon Panthers forward Maddy Hackman (15) prepares to reject a lay-up attempt from Kiana Kaczur of the South Kamloops Titans during the final of the Tsumura Invitational Rising Stars senior girls basketball tournament Dec. 15-17 in Langley. (Langley Events Centre photo)
Vernon Panthers guard Braxton Penner (4) slips past South Kamloops defenders Sydney Fraser (13) and Grace McDonald (14) during the final of the Tsumura Invitational Rising Stars senior girls basketball tournament Dec. 15-17 in Langley. (Langley Events Centre photo)Vernon Panthers guard Braxton Penner (4) slips past South Kamloops defenders Sydney Fraser (13) and Grace McDonald (14) during the final of the Tsumura Invitational Rising Stars senior girls basketball tournament Dec. 15-17 in Langley. (Langley Events Centre photo)
Vernon Panthers defender Lauren Hoard (left) sticks close to South Kamloops Titans point guard Kiana Kaczur during the final of the Tsumura Invitational Rising Stars senior girls basketball tournament Dec. 15-17 in Langley. (Langley Events Centre photo)Vernon Panthers defender Lauren Hoard (left) sticks close to South Kamloops Titans point guard Kiana Kaczur during the final of the Tsumura Invitational Rising Stars senior girls basketball tournament Dec. 15-17 in Langley. (Langley Events Centre photo)

The Vernon Panthers finished a solid second at the Howard Tsumura Rising Stars high school senior girls basketball tournament Dec. 15-17 at the Langley Events Centre.

VSS lost 52-30 to the No. 4-ranked AAA South Kamloops Titans in the all-Okanagan final, described by Vernon head coach Dave Tetrault as “very physical.”

Lauren Hoard and Beth Butler led VSS with six points apiece.

“It was an awesome weekend,” said Tetrault, whose squad entered the tournament ranked seventh among AAA schools. “Exciting games and our team improved. It’s a great way to start the Christmas break.”

The Cats opened the event with a 46-33 win over the St. John Brebeuf Bears from Abbotsford. Player of the Game Maddy Hackman and Butler led the Panthers with 10 points each. Hoard and Braxton Penner contributed eight points apiece.

Vernon defeated the AAA No.6-ranked College Heights Cougars of Prince George 61-57 in the semifinal. Hackman led the Cats with 17 points while Player of the Game Hoard added 14. Dennica Paul and Butler reached double digits with 10 points each.

The weekend ended with an exhibition game for Vernon vs 4A honourable mention Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers of Surrey. In a back-and-forth affair, Surrey’s Panthers edged Vernon’s Panthers 62-59. Hackman had 24, Hoard added 14 and Player of the Game Penner finished with 13 for VSS.

The Cats travel to Abbotsford Jan. 6th to play at the MEI Eagles’ tourney and open against the G.W. Graham Grizzlies out of Chilliwack.

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