Mason Bourcier drives to the basket for the Kelowna Owls Saturday during the final of the Interior Savings Western Canada Basketball Tournament.

Back-to-back Western Canada titles for Owls

KSS senior boys, ranked No. 1 in B.C., defeat Winston Churchill in final

As the defending champs and No. 1 ranked team in B.C., expectations for the hosts were sky high heading into the 43rd Interior Savings Western Canada Basketball Tournament.

And although perhaps not at the pinnacle of their game, the Kelowna Owls rose to the challenge to capture the much sought-after title for the second straight year.

The Owls continued their undefeated season against B.C. opponents with an 84-71 victory over the second-ranked Sir Winston Churchill Bulldogs Saturday night in front of more than 2,000 fans at KSS.

“The expectations were definitely there and there was some pressure on the boys, but they handled it very well,” said Owls’ head coach Harry Parmar, whose team ended a 33-year title drought with last year’s win. “The guys who won it for the second time feel really good about, and it was nice to see the first-year guys get a chance to experience that.

“We travel a ton during the season, so it was nice for the guys to do this in front of the school, their friends and classmates,” he added.

Parker Simson paced the Owls in the final with 18 points and 15 rebounds. Matt Lafontaine

added 16 points, Grant Shephard had 15 and Mason Bourcier, 13, while Davide Ciancio pulled down 15 rebounds.

The Owls easily disposed of Handsworth in the tournament opener 85-44, as Bourcier had 23 points and eight boards.

In the semi-final Friday, KSS took care of Alberta’s No. 1 team, Edmonton Harry Ainlay, 81-60.

The 6-foot-9 Shephard, the tournament’s MVP and Best Owl award winner, had 20 points, while Bourcier, the defensive MVP, added 15 points.

Simson and Bourcier were named to the tournament’s first all-star team while Colin McGrath made the second team.

The 2015-16 Owls, who many observers consider the best team KSS has ever assembled, didn’t have their best offensive game throughout the tournament but Parmar said his players compensated with solid defense.

Also on the upside, Parmar said with their biggest games of the season yet to come, his team still has room to improve.

“This tournament was a great stepping stone for us, we found out we still have things to take care of, our execution can be better,” he said, “so knowing that we still won without our best basketball, I think is good for us and where we need to improve.”

As coveted as the title at the Western Canada Basketball Tournament is for the Owls, there is a grander prize that awaits in just over a month—the B.C. AAAA boys championship in Langley.

“We have one more thing we have to take care of,” said Parmar, whose Owls placed third at provincials in 2015. “Then the season will be complete.”

The next step towards provincials is the Okanagan Valley AAAA championship, set for Feb 25 and 26 at KSS.



Just Posted

Kelowna to be home of green self storage facility

The building will be the first of its kind in North America

One night raises more than $100,000 for Kelowna charity

Third Space Life Charity’s gala raised more than $120,000 for mental health programs in Kelowna

Dog control ramping up on Okanagan Rail Trail

RDNO taking extra precautions to ensure dogs remain on leash

Phone scam uses false RCMP ID on call display

North Okanagan RCMP say there are applications that allow people to change, hide call display info

Update: Power knocked out for 2,700 in Kelowna

FortisBC is working to restore power to area south of the highway Tuesday afternoon.

VIDEO: Rare close encounter with whale pod spotted off B.C. waters

Pod of southern resident orca whales breach within arms length of whale watchers

Coldstream supports Okanagan College Campus residence project

Project would see a 100-bed residence on the Vernon campus in Coldstream

VIDEO: a close-up look at what you were breathing during the wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

Okanagan show supports youth mental health, suicide prevention

Robb Nash will be performing Oct. 2 and 3 at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre

B.C. woman donates $250,000 to ovarian cancer research for friends

Two of Patty Pitts’s friends passed away from the disease within a year

B.C. could provide clues as to how New Brunswick electoral results shake out

Premier Christy Clark faced a strikingly similar scenario following the province’s 2017 election

Ottawa working to iron out kinks in public alert system

The alerts are being credit with saving lives during last week’s tornadoes

South Okanagan neighbourhood surprised by emergency response team activity

RCMP officers were conducting emergency response training

Premier John Horgan ponders debate on voting system changes

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson wants one-on-one, no Green

Most Read