With elite players Mitch Goodwin and Braxston Bunce no longer in the picture, the Kelowna Owls are a different team in the fall of 2012.
Still, the KSS squad is no less competitive than it was one season ago in B.C. high school boys AAA basketball.
The Owls defeated the Vancouver College Fighting Irish 82-70 on Saturday to take the bronze medal at the Telus Basketball Classic.
Grade 11 wing Buzz Truss paced KSS in the final with 25 points and 10 rebounds. Joel Burma added 17 points, while Malcolm Hlady had nine points and 10 boards as the Owls finished the week against top-level competition with three wins in four games.
“I thought we’d be able to compete this season and the guys came out and showed that was the case at Telus,” said Owls coach Harry Parmar. “The kids are playing hard and after the weekend they realized we’re not too far off. We’re not where we need to be yet, but hopefully the best is yet to come.”
The Owls’ only defeat of the tournament came against No. 1-ranked Kitsilano in the semi-finals, 80-70.
Despite shooting a poor 26 per cent in the first half, KSS hung tough with Kits from start to finish. Hlady had 15 points, while Truss and Cooper Simson netted 13 each.
In the tournament opener, the Owls drubbed Charles Tupper 91-66. Truss and John Katerberg scored 20 points apiece, while Burma added 13.
In the second round, KSS beat No. 7-ranked St. Georges 76-70. Katerberg had 26 points and was 6-for-9 from beyond the arc. Truss had 19 points, while Darrion Bunce added 13.
The Owls have two league games next week before the Christmas break, hosting Salmon Arm Monday and Rutland Tuesday.
KSS girls 4th in Abby…
The Kelowna Owls girls squad took fourth overall out of 16 teams at the Century 21 senior tournament at W.J. Mouat last weekend.
KSS, ranked No. 7 heading into the tourney, opened with an easy 68-19 win over Heritage Park. Kiana Lalonde had 13 points, eight rebounds and four steals, while Cassidy Whittaker and Jaeda Stanhope had 12 points each.
In the second game KSS knocked off No. 6 Riverside 60-39. Lalonde scored 18 points and Stanhope had 13.
In the semifinal, Kelowna fell 64-48 yo No. 1 South Kamloops. Lalonde scored 17, while Kaitlyn Lafontaine
had nine points.
In the bronze medal game, No. 8 Fleetwood beat the Owls 61-54. Brooke Briscoe and Stanhope has 12 points each, while Carly Corrado chipped in with four steals, three blocks and three assists.
“The girls played hard, but were just out of a little steam,” said Owls coach Lisa Nevoral. “It was a close game all the way through, but Fleetwood hit some key three-point shots late in the game and the Owls couldn’t answer back.”