The Pen High Lakers junior boys basketball team advanced to the Okanagan Valley championship after defeating Osoyoos 49-35 to win the south zone.
“We played quite well. The boys did battle, they played intense defence,” said Lakers coach Michael Stokker. “Osoyoos worked hard and that’s what kept them in the game.”
The Lakers will now open the valley championship by taking on a big and athletic Okanagan Mission Huskies squad.
“They are probably one of the top teams in the valley,” said Stokker, adding that the Huskies lost to No.1-ranked Kelowna Secondary School Owls. “It’s a tough challenge for us.”
Adding to the challenge is the loss of key players Jayden Doell, who is in France on an exchange trip, and Brayden Jones. However, Stokker has a motivated group that wants to win and advance to provincials.
On the season, the Lakers are 24-2, which includes wins in tournaments in Oliver, Vernon, Salmon Arm and their own invitational. Among the players who have helped the Lakers enjoy success are Jacob Stokker, Spencer Finlayson, Doell, Connor Oh and Bjorn Borren. When key guys aren’t able to deliver, Jarod Smith is aggressive and Josh Gowe brings instant offence with superb drives and accurate outside shooting.