Without the services of two of their top players, the Kelowna Owls carved a out a solid third-place showing at the Legal Beagle senior boys basketball tournament in Coquitlam.
The Owls, ranked seventh in B.C. at the 4A level heading in, were missing Parker Simson due to an illness and Grant Shephard with a hand injury.
KSS opened up the tourney with a 73-64 win over No. 3 Walnut Grove.
“That’s a quality team that we held to 64 points, so I was happy with our defence,” said Owls’ coach Harry Parmar.
In Game 2, the Owls came up short against Terry Fox, losing to the No. 2 ranked Ravens 85-55.
“They had the hometown crowd, they came out with aggression and we just came out flat,” Parmar said.
The Owls rebounded nicely in the third-place game, knocking off Harry Ainlay, the No. 1 rated team out of Edmonton, 76-73.
Davide Cianco scored 20 points, Nav Sandhu and Dylan Hare had 16 apiece, while Matt Lafontaine added 15. Sandhu, who scored the winning bucket against Ainlay, was named to the tournament’s first all-star.
“The guys came out with energy and intensity, but we were just missing shots and were down 17 points in the third quarter. We stuck with it, kept working and did a nice job of coming back.”
With Simson and Shephard sidelined, Parmar said it was a chance for other players to get some valuable court time.
“You get other players in, and it just makes us deeper for later in the season when the games mean even more,” he said.
The Owls are back on the road this week as they head to the Abbotsford Snowball Classic. KSS will play its opener on Thursday, 9:30 a.m. against Brentwood College.
The KSS Owls senior girls team is headed Centennial Secondary this weekend for the Top 10 Shootout.
The Owls, who are ranked ninth in the province, will open up Thursday against Argyle.
In Okanagan Valley girls 3A action last week, the Owls (4-0) downed visiting Salmon Arm 56-53.
Hannah Friesen scored 15 points and added eight rebounds, while Courtney Donaldson added 10 points.