VSS Panther Kailee Streichert (facing) goes up against the York House Tigers’ Laura Baker in B.C. Senior AA Girls Basketball Championship play Friday night in Kamloops. The Tigers grounded VSS 79-59. Vernon faced Holy Cross in Saturday’s bronze-medal game.

VSS Panther Kailee Streichert (facing) goes up against the York House Tigers’ Laura Baker in B.C. Senior AA Girls Basketball Championship play Friday night in Kamloops. The Tigers grounded VSS 79-59. Vernon faced Holy Cross in Saturday’s bronze-medal game.

Panthers play for bronze

  • Mar. 13, 2011 11:00 a.m.

The Vernon Panthers had a shot at a bronze medal at the B.C. Senior AA Girls Basketball Championships Saturday in Kamloops.

After falling 79-59 to the No. 2-ranked York House Tigers in semifinal action Friday night, the No. 6 Cats went up against the Holy Cross Crusaders of Surrey in the bronze-medal game.

Emily Kanester led VSS with 13 points and 11 rebounds against the perennial powerhouse Tigers. Michelle Smith also had 13 points, Sarah Kopp supplied eight points and eight rebounds and Hailey Jellema was a rock defensively, helping her team withstand the Tigers’ press.

The Panthers led early in the first quarter, but the Tigers slowly started to take over, leading by six at the half, and by 14 after three quarters.

“They’re (Tigers) in another league. At times, they look like a university team with how they run their systems,” said Bobby Mitchell, co-coach of VSS with Lonny Mazurak.

“We were pretty proud of the girls for how they came out and competed. All the girls handled the pressure really well.”

In Thursday afternoon play, the Panthers outlasted the third-ranked Lambrick Park Pride of Victoria 85-82 in a drama-jammed tilt at Thompson Rivers University.

Britney Walton sank a three-point attempt from six feet behind the arc at the buzzer for her 29th point of the game.

“That was one of the most exciting games I’ve ever seen,” said Mitchell. “It was just mayhem at the end. I didn’t know what to do. We were down 22 in the third and we got it to nine in the fourth and Emily Kanester hit some big shots and hit a three.

“They had three kids over six feet, but our little team stuck with it and pressed them for 40 minutes. We wore them down the press and we were winning most of the loose balls. Everybody stepped it up.”

Kanester finished with 20 points, while Kailee Streichert and Michelle Smith each rung up 10 points. Sarah Kopp grabbed a dozen rebounds.

The No. 10 Fulton Maroons bowed 67-40 to the 11th-ranked Seycove Seahawks of North Vancouver 67-40 Friday.

Tavia Lochhead and Amanda Sakamoto each drained nine points for Fulton.

“We shot poorly, passed poorly and lacked energy,” said Fulton coach Jim Inglis. “The only bonus was our young players got in the game and got some experience and a chance to play.”

The 16th-seeded Kalamalka Lakers opened provincials with a 76-47 loss to the No. 1 Brittania Bruins of Vancouver.

Leading the Lakers was Katie Rogers with 18 points, while Jeevan Jaswal and Tiffany Barkman each added six.

The young Lakers then fell 61-44 to the No. 8 St. Michaels Blue Devils of Victoria Thursday.

Kaelyn Parmalee led Kal with nine points with Amanda Lewis adding six and Grade 9 call-up Paige Ralston with eight.

The Lakers collected their first win Friday, bouncing the No. 12 Grand Forks Wolves 75-65.

The Lakers used full court pressure to overwhelm the Wolves, whose lineup featured both a 6-foot-6 and 6-foot-2 player.

Kirsten Dodds paced Kal with 14 points, Ralston supplied nine and Rogers, with her most complete game of the tournament, collected 14 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.

Dayna Epp, who finished with 11 points, took a vicious elbow with two minutes remaining that required six stitches.

The Lakers faced the Archbishop Carney Stars of Coquitlam for 13th place Saturday.

At the junior girls provincial in Abbotsford, the Panthers opened with a 54-49 win over the McMath Wildcats of Richmond Thursday afternoon.

Quinsey Leier provided 17 points for the Cats, while Sage Blundell fired 11 and game MVP Mary Rice earned nine and Karly Fugel added seven.

The No. 14-ranked Charles Bloom Timberwolves continued their solid play at senior A girls provincials in Fernie with 45-39 upset over the No. 10 Sparwood Spartans.

Down a point heading into the second quarter, Bloom’s Krista Verhage hit a shot with two seconds left in the half to give her team a one-point lead at the break.

“They came out shooting well. We worked hard on defence, and felt confident that we would hit our stride,” said Bloom coach Devin Tyssen.

“Our girls remained mentally strong throughout the game, and never let the home crowd get to them. Our shots weren’t falling, but the girls kept playing hard on defence, which kept us alive.”

Halfway through the fourth quarter, Bloom put on the press and gained some momentum by forcing Sparwood turnovers. The T-wolves hit clutch shots when it counted in the final minutes, and went on a 14-2 run to close out the game.

Charles Bloom closed the tournament Saturday against No. 4 Ashcroft.

Earlier, the Timberwolves bowed 74-47 to the No. 3 Cedars Christian Eagles of Prince George before defeating the 11th-ranked Pacific Christian Pacers of Victoria 61-48.

The Timberwolves rebounded and defended well as they went up against Pacific Christian, grabbing an early 16-2 and leading 30-10 at the break.

“Mallory Schunter was on fire in the first half, hitting 16 of her 18 points,” said Tyssen. “Our fastbreak was really moving well, and our inside presence opened up a lot of looks on the weak side against their 23 zone.”

Bloom went ahead 45-22 after three quarters before the Vikings nailed three shots from the parking lot and five inside shots.

“I am really proud of our girls; they stuck to the plan and forced Pacific to try and adjust to our style of play,” said Bloom coach Andrew Calado.

Vernon Morning Star

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