Owls win WCBT…
Thirty-three years had passed since a Kelowna Owls team had finished on top at the Interior Savings Western Canada Basketball Tournament.
In February, the streak came to an end in convincing style, as the hometown Owls defeated Winnipeg’s Oak Park 70-57 in the championship of the prestigious eight-team tourney.
While winning the school’s first title since 1982 was a nice accomplishment for his players, KSS head coach Harry Parmar said ending the streak was only a small part of his team’s motivation.
“We never talked about the streak at all,” said Parmar. “We just really wanted to win the tournament and that’s what carried us through. We gutted it out in every game and found a way to win.
“The effort by the boys was overwhelming.”
Tournament MVP Parker Simson, despite playing ill, paced the Owls with 58 points in three games.
The Owls later went into the boys 4A provincials with a gold medal in mind, but settled for the bronze after defeating Sir Winston Churchill 100-79.
KSS began the 2015-16 season ranked No. 1 in B.C.
The Immaculata Mustangs’ move up to B.C. AA girls high school basketball in 2015 proved to be an unqualified success.
The Mustangs, coached by Andrew Gini, won the provincial AA title on their first try in March, defeating Little Flower Academy 68-55 in the final in Langley.
Graduating senior Emma Johnson, who paced the Mustangs throughout the tournament was named an all-star and the top defensive player at provincials.
“We had a lot of success in single A, and we knew it would be tough make the step up,” said Johnson. “But a lot of hard work went into it and our goal all along this year was to win another title. It was pretty historical for our little school.”
The Kelowna Christian Knights were back on top in provincial high school basketball in 2015, winning the B.C. A boys championship for the fifth time in the last eight years.
KCS defeated local rival Immaculata 59-46 in the championship game in Langley.
“It’s a great rivalry between these teams and (Mustangs’) coach Dino (Gini) does such a great job with that program, they’re aggressive and well-coached,” said Knights co-coach Dean Neufeld. “It was another showdown that we just found a way to come out on top of this time.”
Knights’ 6-foot-3 senior Jesse Stewart, who had 23 rebounds in the final, was named the tournament’s MVP.