Morning Star Staff
After a tough quarterfinal loss to the No. 4 St. Thomas More Knights of Burnaby, the VSS Panthers tweaked their defence and rattled the GW Graham Grizzlies of Chilliwack 65-49 Friday night.
Vernon, ranked fifth, took on the No. 6 Nechako Valley Viqueens of Vanderhoof for ninth and 10th place Saturday in the B.C. Senior AA Girls Basketball Championships at the Langley Events Centre.
The Panthers and Grizzlies were square at 41-41 after three quarters, but VSS dominated the fourth quarter by outscoring the Grizzlies 24-8.
“Coach T’s (Dave Tetrault) zone made things tough for GWG,” said Panther head coach Lonny Mazurak. “We out rebounded GWG by 20 and we cut turnovers in half from the last game which contributed to the win.”
Game star Brianna Falk, a 5-foot-10 post, poured in 17 points and 11 rebounds and was stellar at both ends of the floor.
“She is a match-up nightmare with her size and skill.”
Megan Rouault flushed 17 points, while Grade 9 sensation Kelsey Falk collected nine points and seven rebounds.
“It was a real character win under adverse conditions,” added Mazurak.
Starting point guard Anna Rice had her injured ankle taped heavily before VSS battled the fourth-rated Knights, losing 76-54 Thursday night in the quarters.
Rice ignored the pain and drained 13 points for Player of the Game honours. The Panthers trailed 15-2 early but got back into the game with a 13-4 run.
Superstar post Jordyn Cullum went down with an injury early in the second quarter and the Cats kept it close until the middle of the third quarter but the Knights were too much to handle.
Nadine Stewart bagged 21 points and Zion Corrales Nelson netted 20 for the Knights. Kristy Fugel sank 10 points for the Panthers, while the Falk sisters each produced seven.
“We out rebounded them and limited their two shooters to 17 points combined, but we had 27 turnovers that led to 48 points for the Knights,” said Mazurak.
The top-ranked Duchess Park Condors of Prince George faced the No. 3 Seycove Seyhawks of North Vancouver in Saturday’s final.
The Condors iced St. Thomas More 72-69, while Seycove stopped defending champion Immaculata Mustangs of Kelowna 78-66 in Friday semis.