Vernon Panthers seniors Kelsey Watts (from left), Ashley Budgen and Sarah Butler led the team in scoring in their final high school basketball game. (Photos submitted)

Vernon Panthers crack top-10 at provincials

Lady Cats finish 10th after loss to Chilliwack school in final at B.C. 3A finals in Langley

The Vernon Panthers placed 10th at the B.C. Senior Girls 3A basketball championships in Langley, finishing with a 2-2 record.

The Cats, seeded 11th in the 16-team field, dropped a 75-62 decision to the G.W. Graham Grizzlies in the battle for ninth place Saturday.

The Panthers were led by their trio of seniors, playing the final games of their high school careers. Kelsey Watts had 20 points, Sarah Butler chipped in 13 and Ashley Budgen had 12.

READ MORE: Sweet 16 for Vernon Panthers

VSS went 2-1 on the consolation side after losing their opening game Wednesday to the sixth-ranked MEI Eagles of Cleabrook.

Vernon defeated the Mark Isfeld Ice of Courtenay 49-36, then dismantled the Pitt Meadows Marauders 78-59 (scoring summaries not available for either game).

The Panthers were playing in the provincial tournament for a 16th consecutive year.

The Abbotsford Panthers won the B.C. championship, defeating the Okanagan champion Okanagan Mission Huskies of Kelowna 85-77 in the final.

* The Fulton Maroons and Vernon Panthers will begin play Wednesday at the B.C. Senior Boys 2A and 3A, respectively, Basketball Championships in Langley, while the Charles Bloom Timberwolves of Lumby will start play Wednesday at the BC Senior Girls A finals at Kelowna Christian School.

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