The Vernon Panthers are starting to click.
The Panthers capped off Tessa’s Tournament in Surrey by dumping the Handsworth Royals of North Vancouver 69-52 to go 3-0 in the round-robin event.
Lonny Mazurak’s senior girls basketball squad pulled away by opening the final quarter on a 12-2 run.
“The group is beginning to gel and are playing well as we head into playoffs,” said Mazurak.
Kristy Fugel led the Panthers with 16 points while player of the game Megan Rouault and Jordyn Cullum added 14 points each.
Cullum followed in the footsteps of former Panther Jordan Korol by being selected as the recipient of the $500 Tessa Beauchamp Scholarship.
Cullum will play college hoops for UBC Okanagan next season, joining Korol.
Beauchamp was a member of several provincial teams. She died in 2012 after a battle with cancer.
In North Zone senior boys AA league play, the Kal Lakers edged the Seaton Sonics 53-52.
Ryan Squair led the Lakers with 14 points, Bastian Seidelmenn added six and Carson Grey and Gavin Huggins chipped in four points apiece.
Carter Bosquet, Wyatt Carter Jared Bobryk, Ty Ho and Kadyn Thomas all hit the Lakers’ score sheet.
Kobe Romanovitch had 20 points, Noah Alleyne had 15, Nate Banga popped in 14 and Satch McDermid added 10 as the Fulton Maroons downed the Pleasant Valley Secondary Saints 89-44 to wrap up league play.
The Maroons edged the LV Rogers Bombers of Nelson 68-67 in an exhibition match.
“It was a good game to the finish but we didn’t take care of the ball very well,” said Maroons coach Dale Olson.
Banga led all scorers with 21 points. Hunter Krieger added 13 points and eight boards, Caden Doyle popped in seven points and nine rebounds while Ike Olson hauled in 11 boards and scored six points.
Fulton Grade 8 Maroons played some extra basketball at the Barry Dearing Invitational Tournament in Salmon Arm.
The Maroons lost their first two games in overtime before ending the tournament with a 38-35 win over Dr. Knox of Kelowna.
Levi Lee scored 15 points including two baskets from three-point range, to go with six rebounds and three assists.
Jacob Friesen, who sealed the game with key free throws down the stretch, finished with 10 points and 19 rebounds for Fulton, which opened the event with a tough 44-43 loss to the Kettle Valley Railway Middle School. The Penticton squad won the game with a free throw with less than a second to go in overtime.
Fulton player of the game Quin Williamson forced overtime with a buzzer beater. Williamson had eight points, 11 rebounds and three steals to go along with some spectacular defence. Lee had 10 points and Cole Hutchison played solid defence and added nine points.
The Maroons were back on the floor to face the Shuswap Rams, who won 62-57 in double OT.
Friesen had a monster game for the Maroons, scoring 28 points, adding 16 rebounds and four blocked shots, earning player of the game honours.
Karan Malhotra nailed two treys, while Nemo Mcdonald had nine points and four steals. Williamson again hit a shot at the buzzer to force the first overtime while Lee scored a layup off an inbounds play at the buzzer to force the second extra period.
The Maroons warmed up for the North Zone finals next week by downing the Seaton Soinics 38-20. Malhotra led Fulton with 13 points while Friesen added seven and nine rebounds.