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Best of the West basketball tourney provides Lakers with strong competition
One win in three games is what the Pen High Lakers senior girls basketball team managed during Kelowna's Best of the West Tournament last weekend.
Lakers coach Lesley Lacroix said that record may seem like an unsuccessful weekend, but given the teams they matched up against and the scores, she is extremely pleased.
The Lakers lone win came against the perennially strong Maple Ridge Ramblers. Entering the match, the Ramblers had a short bench and the Lakers took advantage by applying pressure the entire first half and wearing Maple Ridge down. Jumping to an early 20-2 first-quarter lead, the Lakers maintained their momentum to a 55-36 final. Ana Moroziuk led the scoring drive with 13 points and six assists, while Emily Clarke netted 11 points and Natasha Reimer was a force in the paint grabbing 21 rebounds.
The Lakers opened against the Immaculata Mustangs, the top single A school in B.C. It was a single point game the majority of the way. The Lakers handled the Mustangs pressure, but couldn't keep up their shooting percentages in the final quarter, resulting in a 71-61 loss. Reimer sank 12 points for the Lakers and snagged 13 boards, while Moroziuk netted 11 points and Annie Plant, nine. Moroziuk’s calmness in pressure situations earned her the game all-star award.
"We worked all week on breaking presses and getting into quick transitions," said Lacroix. "Playing Immaculata put that to the test and we handled their pressure well. They applied a full-court press the entire game and we probably broke it seven out of 10 times, which given this is something we are continuing to work on, was very rewarding."
In a 54-48 loss to Duchess Park (Prince George) which is ranked No. 2 in B.C., Moroziuk shot 70 per cent to finish with a career high 21 points. Haylee Robertson had a strong performance for the Lakers not allowing the Condors to dominate in the paint and grabbed 11 rebounds.
"It was a good game," said Moroziuk who wants to contribute more offensively and become a complete player. "Things felt good. I had confidence and I got over being sick."
As for the Lakers performance in the tournament, Moroziuk said they played very well. She said that playing strong teams will help them later.
"We pushed the ball up the floor effectively and were effective against the press," she said.