The Pen-Hi Lakers breezed to three straight lopsided wins to take the Princess Margaret Mustangs senior boys’ basketball tournament title last week in Penticton.
The final ended up being a rematch of the Cross-City Challenge game a few days earlier against the host Mustangs.
Austin Afonso racked up 19 points and four rebounds to help the Lakers defeat Princess Margaret 81-52.
Jake Stewart had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds to go along with two blocks and an assist, while James Hill and Spencer Toneatto did a terrific job to help neutralize Maggie’s strong play from the guard position.
“Maggie does a good job of taking you out of your rhythm and forcing you to play their type of basketball,” said Lakers assistant coach Eron Labadie. “For us that is hard, because we like to move the ball and we play better when we have all five guys being active. Fortunately playing them for the second time in three days gave us a better understanding of what we needed to do.”
In the opener, the Lakers overcame a sluggish first quarter and rallied to beat the Southern Okanagan Hornets from Oliver 81-52.
“Once we began to increase the tempo and not allow the Hornets to set up their zone we began to get easy buckets in transition,” Labadie said. “This game seemed to be dominated by our back court.
Owen Labadie finished with 16 points, four rebounds, and four assists. Afonso had 14 points, while guard Stevie Searcy came off the bench and added 13 points on a red-hot shooting night going 5-for-6 and 3-for-3 on three-pointers.
Afonso continued his hot shooting with 20 points, three rebounds and three assists as the Lakers beat J.L. Crowe from Trail 82-53.
Toneatto tacked on 12 points, four boards and two steals as the Lakers blew it open after leading by just 15 midway through the third quarter.
“We played them early in the season and beat them by 40 and I was impressed by the improvements they made as they gave us a much tougher battle,” said Labadie. “This game was a complete team win and both Coach Raj Dhillon and I were happy to see everyone come into the game and contribute.”
The Lakers won the Cross-City game 64-50 over Princess Margaret.
“It was a real good back-and-forth battle and we had a fantastic crowd come out to cheer both teams on,” said Labadie.
Jake Stewart had 15 points, six rebounds and four assists, Mason Holt did all of his damage in the paint with 12 points and three rebounds while Toneatto came off the bench to provide 10 points and a solid defensive presence.
The Lakers league game scheduled for earlier this week at Mount Boucherie was postponed until this Thursday night due to the rock slide on Highway 97.