The Vernon Panthers defeated the defending B.C. champion South Kamloops Titans 71-63 at the Panther Pit to win the Okanagan Valley Senior Boys 3A Basketball championship.
The win advances the Panthers to the B.C. 3A championships March 6-9 in Langley.
The Cats, who lost to the Titans in last year’s Okanagan final, also at the Panther Pit, advanced to the championship with a comfortable 92-44 semifinal win over the fourth-place Valleyview Vikings of Kamloops. VSS was seeded No. 1.
The No. 2 Titans made it to the final with a 72-64 win over the third-ranked Okanagan Mission Huskies of Kelowna.
SENIOR GIRLS 2A
The Vernon Panthers beat the Whistler Storm 64-54 in their opening game of the 16-team B.C. 2A Girls finals Wednesday in Langley.
The Panthers, the Okanagan’s No. 2 team, are seeded sixth for the provincials. They’ll take on the third-seed G.W. Graham Grizzlies of Chilliwack in a Thursday quarterfinal. The Grizz romped over Vancouver’s Little Flower Academy, 92-56.
The Okanagan champion South Kamloops Titans are ranked No. 1. The Titans blew out the David Thompson Lakers of Invermere 90-26 in their opening game.
SENIOR BOYS 2A
The Seaton Sonics missed qualifying for the B.C. championships by one spot.
The Sonics finished fourth at the Okanagan Valley championships in Lake Country, with the top three teams advancing to the provincials March 6-9 in Langley.
Seaton opened the tournament with an 89-56 loss to the Westsyde Whundas of Kamloops, then rebounded to beat the Kalamalka Lakers of Coldstream 97-44.
The Sonics got by the Princess Margaret Mustangs of Penticton 84-58 to earn another crack at the Whundas in the bronze medal game. Westsyde won 96-54 to take the third Okanagan berth to the B.C. finals.
Elijah Burnham and Nick Maglio of the Sonics were named to the first all-star team.
The host George Elliot Coyotes defeated the Sa-Hali Sabres of Kamloops 78-64 in the championship.
The Lakers finished eighth, losing their opener 108-41 to George Elliot.
The Fulton Maroons finished seventh, also going 0-2. Fulton, seeded third for the Valleys, were upset by sixth-seeded Princess Margaret 65-53 in their opener. The Maroons then fell 61-56 to the South Okanagan Hornets of Oliver.
The Seaton Sonics lost to the Yale Lions of Abbotsford Wednesday in a qualification game at the B.C. Junior Girls Basketball championships in Langley.
The loss drops the Sonics into the Showcase Bracket of the 24-team event. They face the Duchess Park Condors of Prince George Thursday morning. The Condors lost their opening to the MEI Eagles of Clearbrook.
Coaches Chris Colclough and Connie King guided Seaton to its first provincial berth in 12 years.
Seaton went undefeated in league play, won the North Zone championship and qualified for provincials by finishing fourth at the Okanagan finals.