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UPDATE: Trio of Vernon basketball teams advance to B.C. Elite 8 quarterfinals

Vernon Christian Royals, Vernon Panthers, Kal Lakers all win their respective provincial opening games
Abby Vass of the Vernon Christian Royals (6) dishes the ball to teammate Macie Lewis during the third-seeded Royals’ 69-41 victory over the Nisga’a Nighthawks in their first-ever game at the B.C. 1A senior girls basketball championships Wednesday, March 2, in Kelowna. (Jake Courtepatte - Black Press Media)

The Vernon Christian School Royals, Kalamalka Lakers and Vernon Panthers are all into the Elite Eight at their respective B.C. Senior Girls Basketball Championships.


The 10th-ranked Panthers, appearing in the provincial tournament for the 17th straight year, pulled the biggest upset on opening day in Langley.

Kaitlyn Budgen had a game-high 20 points and Lauren Hoard chipped in 14 as the Panthers stopped the seventh-ranked Robert Bateman Timberwolves of Abbotsford 68-44.

The win moves VSS into the quarterfinals Thursday at 1:45 p.m. against the No. 2-seed Brookswood Bobcats of Langley.


The third-seeded Royals – playing their first-ever game in school history at the provincial finals – dispatched the 14th-seeded Nisga’a Nighthawks of New Aiyansh, near Terrace, 69-41 in their opening game Wednesday afternoon, March 2.

Caitlin Gingras was named player of the game (POG) for Vernon Christian School after erupting for 35 points, including 21 from beyond the three-point arc. April Thompson added 18 points for the Royals. Laney Munroe took the POG honour for Nisga’a.

The victory earns the Royals a berth in Thursday’s quarterfinals at 1:45 p.m. They will take on the sixth-seeded Pacific Christian Pacers of Victoria.


The Kalamalka Lakers from Coldstream also advanced to the Elite Eight at their provincial finals in Langley.

The sixth-seeded Lakers, the Okanagan champions, downed the Lambrick Park Lions of Victoria 56-44 in their tournament opener Wednesday afternoon. Sydney Lewis led the Lakers with 17 points while Lily Lee added 11.

Kalamalka will play a quarterfinal matchup Thursday, March 3, against the third-ranked York House Tigers of Vancouver. Tip-off is at 3:30 pm.

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 3, to include the Vernon Panthers’ result and scoring details from all three games.

Editor’s note: This story was updated again at 3:26 p.m. to correct starting time for Vernon Christian School games

READ MORE: Vernon Christian School Royals seeded No. 3 for B.C.’s

About the Author: Vernon Morning Star Staff

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