Vernon Panthers forward Isaiah Ondrik goes up over Sir Charles Tupper Tigers defender Norben Buloson for two points in the final of the Robert Bateman Classic senior boy’s AAA basketball tournament in Abbotsford. The No. 1-ranked Tigers rallied late to beat the No. 2 Panthers 80-77. (Mary-Anne Morgan photo)

Vernon Panthers fall to Tigers

Senior boy’s basketball: Battle of top two AAA teams in B.C. goes to No. 1 Sir Charles Tupper

The top Cats beat the No. 2 Cats in the final of the 12-team Robert Bateman Timberwolves Classic senior boys tournament in Abbotsford.

Trailing the No. 2 AAA Vernon Panthers by four with minutes to play, the top-ranked AAA team, Sir Charles Tupper Tigers of Vancouver, went on a 15-8 run and ended up with an 80-77 victory over the Panthers.

The final between the two top teams didn’t disappoint.

The Tigers came out roaring in the first quarter, and built up an 18-point lead following a 12-0 run in the second quarter. The Panthers, who have but one Grade 12 player (Thomas Hyett), chipped away and trailed by only eight at the intermission.

Vernon kept attacking and took its first lead of the game, 66-64, with four minutes to play. The Tigers came back led by tournament MVP Norben Bulosan, who hit back-to-back three-point shots to put the game out of reach.

“To be honest, they jumped out early on us with heavy pressure,” said Vernon head coach Malcolm Reid. “But we were able to adjust and we fought back to make it a great game in the second half. I thought our kids defended and in the end we were real happy. But credit to Tupper, they came up with huge shots and they won the game. I don’t think we could have done anything more.”

The Panthers proved they belong in the top echelon of the AAA schools. The tournament featured four of the top-10 ranked teams, including the top three: Tupper, Vernon and No. 3 North Delta Huskies.

VSS opened the event with a convincing 87-55 win over the St. Thomas More College Knights of Burnaby. Tournament all-star Isaiah Ondrik paced the Panthers with 31 points while Liam Reid added 20 (six treys).

In the quarterfinals, the Panthers took care of the No. 9-ranked G.W. Graham Grizzlies of Chilliwack 76-47 behind the stellar post play of Kevin Morgan, who finished with 24 points.

The win set up a semifinal match with the Huskies, who had been ranked No. 1 most of the season. The Panthers got off to a hot 18-3 start with Reid draining three shots from the parking lot early in the opening stanza. Delta battled back to get to within one late in the second quarter – but would never take the lead in the game. The Panthers would eventually win 72-66. Ondrik netted 18 points in the win while Reid added 13 and tournament all-star Zack Smith 11.

Reid was pleased with his team’s overall play and ability to compete with the best in B.C.

“This tournament was great for our team because we now know where we stand and what we have to improve on if we want to have a different result if we make it to provincial’s in March,” said Coach Reid.

The Panthers entertain the OK Mission Huskies of Kelowna Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Panther Pit in a battle for first place in the Okanagan Conference.

 

Vernon Panthers guard Zack Smith goes up against North Delta Huskies defender Suraj Gahir for a tough two points in the semifinals of the Robert Bateman Classic senior boy’s AAA basketball tournament in Abbotsford. (Mary-Anne Morgan photo)

Vernon Panthers post player Kevin Morgan (left) wins the tip-off against Sir Charles Tupper Tigers’ counterpart Matthew Dunkerley in the final of the Robert Bateman Classic senior boy’s AAA basketball tournament in Abbotsford. The No. 1 Tigers would win the game against the No. 2 Panthers, 80-77. (Mary-Anne Morgan photo)

Just Posted

Vernon smash-and-grab nets electric bike

Rock thrown through front door of Southward Medical Supplies, bike grabbed from near door

Vernon school digs up $2,500 recycling prize

Kalamalka Secondary students recognized for establishing a new culture of recycling

COLUMN: Get your paddle on in Vernon

Columnist Carole Fawcett has been missing the ability to paddle the area’s lakes

July is ‘Unused Medication Return Month’ in Vernon

CMHA Vernon & District partners with Shuswap North Okanagan Division of Family Practice for Medicine Return Project

Unexpected snow on Okanagan Connector, Pennask Summit

As of 6:50 a.m. DriveBC cameras displayed surprise snowfall on highway

VIDEO: Weekday weather update for the Okanagan Valley

Snow is expected on the Okanagan connector and thunderstorms across the Valley

Home care for B.C.’s elderly is too expensive and falls short: watchdog

Report says seniors must pay $8,800 a year for daily visits under provincial home support program

B.C. ‘struggling’ to meet needs of vulnerable youth in contracted care: auditor

Auditor general says youth in contracted residential services may not be getting support they need

Funds needed for special diving team to find missing Okanagan kayaker

Zygmunt Janiewicz was last seen on Okanagan Lake May 17

In 2019, 21 fires in Vernon to Penticton zone have been human caused, some linked to cigarette butts

Lake Country councillors want stricter regulations, more signage on public smoking

Billboard posted along B.C.’s Highway of Tears to remember missing and murdered Indigenous women

Billboards featuring Indigenous artwork to be placed in Surrey, Kamloops and near Prince George

Spikeball tournament sets up for Okanagan summer

The tournament for the four-player beach game comes July 13 in Kelowna

Driver loses tire while behind the wheel after lug-nut thief strikes in Burnaby

Burnaby RCMP are investigating after two reports of lug-nut tampering in the city this month

Federal cabinet ministers visit Edmonton, Calgary, in wake of TMX approval

Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi is set to visit Trans Mountain Corp.’s terminal in Edmonton

Most Read