The No. 2-ranked Vernon Panthers began the B.C. High School Senior Boys 3A Basketball Championships in Langley Wednesday with a convincing 83-44 win over the 15th-ranked Reynolds Roadrunners of Victoria.
A 17-point advantage in the first quarter set the tone for the Panthers, who dominated in the paint, outscoring the Roadrunners 56-22 and they also controlled the boards with a 48-33 advantage.
The Panthers were led by 24 points and 12 rebounds from Kevin Morgan and 19 points and 11 rebounds from Isaiah Ondrik.
VSS will face the seventh-seeded Rick Hansen Hurricanes of Abbotsford in a Thursday quarterfinal. The Hurricanes defeated the 10th-seeded G.P. Vanier Towhees of Courtenay 86-71.
They went in seeded sixth and came out one spot higher.
The Vernon Panthers finished fifth at the B.C. High School Senior Girls 2A Basketball Championships in Langley, winning their final game of the year, defeating the Seycove Seyhawks of North Vancouver 63-56 behind 31 points and 14 rebounds from Kelsey Falk in her final high school game to finish the championships 3-1.
The Cats’ only loss came in the quarterfinals Thursday, a 59-44 decision to the third-rated G.W. Graham Grizzlies of Chilliwack. Provincial first-team all-star Kelsey Falk led VSS with 16 points while Ashley Budgen chipped in 14.
The Grizzlies made it to the championship game, losing 70-43 to the Okanagan champion South Kamloops Titans in a rematch of the 2018 final, also won by South Kam.
Vernon opened the provincials by downing the Whistler Storm 64-54 behind 36 points from Falk and 11 from Budgen.
On the consolation side, the Panthers defeated the St. Thomas More Collegiate Knights of Burnaby 73-67 as Falk scored 18, Kelsey Watts chipped in 17, Budgen had 14 and Sarah Butler reached double digits with 11.
“We played our best basketball of the season,” said Panthers head coach Dave Tetrault. “Each game, we got stronger and our last game was our best. I feel extremely blessed to have worked with such a great group. They played with extreme commitment to each other and followed the game plans put before them. Awesome.”
Falk will be taking her talent to the UBC Okanagan Heat program next year. She left with one of the most dominating performances in high school championship history. Falk scored 104 points in the four games (26-pt average) and 64 rebounds (16 average).
“Kelsey Falk is a special player,” said Tetrault. “Her skill level and commitment to give her best were on display this weekend. Her first team all-star selection was well deserved. What the stat sheet doesn’t tell you is what a positive leader she was for her team. Her four-game performance scoring, rebounds and steals puts her in elite company. It was an honour to work with her the last three years.”
Also graduating from the Panthers are Eli Durfeld, Sarah Crerar and Olivia Sawka.
Meanwhile, Former Panthers coach Bobby Mitchell has had the interim label removed and is officially the head coach of the UBC Okanagan Heat women’s basketball team.
The Seaton Sonics won the Showcase bracket at the B.C. Junior Girls Basketball Championships in Langley, going 3-1 to finish 17th overall out of 24 teams.
The Showcase bracket featured eight teams that lost qualification games on the opening day of the tournament. Seaton fell 60-42 to the Yale Lions of Abbotsford for their only loss. Iseult Colclough led the Sonics with 17 points, while Alassa Johnson chipped in with 10 points.
Seaton then rattled off three straight wins, starting with a 47-34 victory over the Duchess Park Condors of Prince George. Colclough had 18 points, Johnson added eight and Ava McLennan had six.
Johnson erupted for 24 points and Colclough added 23 as the Sonics dispatched the Burnaby South Rebels 64-39.
In their final game, Seaton beat the College Heights Cougars of Prince George 58-46. (No scoring available)