Seventh for Laker 9s

The Pen High Lakers placed seventh in the Grade 9 girls basketball provincials.

Maria Iannone of the Pen High Lakers Grade 9 basketball team is pressured by a pair of Pen High junior Lakers during an exhibition match. Iannone helped the Lakers place seventh at the provincial championship in Vancouver and earned a player of the game award.                                 Emanuel Sequeira/Western News

Maria Iannone of the Pen High Lakers Grade 9 basketball team is pressured by a pair of Pen High junior Lakers during an exhibition match. Iannone helped the Lakers place seventh at the provincial championship in Vancouver and earned a player of the game award. Emanuel Sequeira/Western News

The Pen High Lakers entered the Grade 9 girls basketball provincials as the No. 10 seed, but left the 16-team tourney seventh best.

“I was a bit disappointed and surprised at the seeding, given we had beat both the No. 7 and 8 seed during our season, but as a team decided to focus on finishing above our placed ranking,” said Lakers coach Lesley Lacroix.

The Lakers finished the tournament at Vancouver’s Britannia School with a 47-31 win over Heritage Woods of Port Moody in the seventh/eighth-place game. A 37-31 loss in their third game to No. 6 Lord Tweedsmuir pitted the Lakers against Heritage Woods. In that final match, it was the first time the Lakers built a lead they never let go of.

“It was a close affair for the first half, but we tired them out with our run ‘n’ gun style offence and pulled ahead by 11 in the third quarter,” said Lacroix. “Crashing the boards, strong post play and all out great defence earned Tess Widney player of the game.”

The Lakers opened by upsetting North Vancouver’s Argyle 38-55. The Lakers trailed by seven at half. In the fourth quarter, Jaden Yamamoto came to life scoring all of her nine points and gave the team its first lead and earned player of the game.

Sophie Brydon was named player of the game in game two, which the Lakers lost 46-42 to No. 2 North Surrey. Lacroix said it was Brydon’s outstanding effort and performance that narrowed a 22-15 first half deficit as she hit a three-point shot, several lay-ups, outside shots and free-throws. In the Tweedsmuir match, Tess Widney stood out for battling hard and grabbing key defensive rebound. Iannone fed the Lakers posts the ball and earned player of the game.

Yamamoto was named to the B.C. Grade 9 girls all-star team for her efforts in every game.

Penticton Western News

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