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Lakers riding confidence into AAA provincials
Confidence is very high for the Pen High Lakers senior girls basketball team.
Lakers coach Lesley Lacroix said they are still riding the wave of euphoria from winning the AAA Okanagan Valley Championship against the Salmon Arm Jewels.
“I’ve told them to continue enjoying the ride, as it was well deserved,” wrote Lacroix in an email.
“They know every game at provincials will be a significant challenge, but we have had so many of those types of games it isn’t a new feeling for us.”
Ranked ninth among the 16 heading into the 2014 B.C. Secondary School AAA basketball championships, the Lakers open in Langley today against Surrey’s Fleetwood Park Dragons. Lacroix said the Dragons have, “a super fast dynamo at the point who handles the ball masterfully.”
“I think she will give Ana (Moroziuk) and Tessa (Lannon-Paakspuu) lots to work on in Game 1,” said Lacroix. “I really believe we can do well if we can force the ball out of her hands (she loves to shoot and controls their offence).”
Lacroix also said the Dragons don’t have size inside. While the Lakers don’t have a lot of size either, Lacroix is counting on Hayden Craig and Natasha Reimer to be tough in the paint.
Lakers forward Emily Clarke isn’t 100 per cent yet from her ankle injury, but has rested while receiving physiotherapy treatments.
In practice, the Lakers focused on mental preparation to minimize offensive turnovers and defensive positional problems, with some more work, however, on their shooting, as well as fitness.
A key for the Lakers will be playing at a fast pace.
“Even in our best games, they have tended to be close through two quarters and then we seem to have the extra drive and fitness to carry it through quarters three and four that other teams haven’t,” she said.
All games will be live streamed at www.langleyeventscentre.com/AAAGirlsBBall
Top 16 AAA rankings
1. Holy Cross; Surrey
2. Brookswood, Langley
3. WJ Mouat, Abbotsford
4. Claremont, Victoria
5. Oak Bay, Victoria
6. Riverside, Coquitlam
7. MEI, Abbotsford
9. Fleetwood Park, Surrey
10. Burnaby South
11. Salmon Arm
12. Argyle, North Vancouver
13. Handsworth, North Vancouver
14. Caledonia, Terrace
15. Prince George
16. Mt. Baker, Cranbrook