The Salmon Arm Secondary junior Golds basketball team didn’t show any signs of rust after their Christmas break as they posted four wins last week.
On Tuesday in league action, the Golds defeated the Seaton Sonics 68-24. All 11 players hit the score sheet led by Dillan Olson with 18 points, followed by Norman Ambauen with 15.
The team travelled back to Vernon on the weekend for the Vernon Panthers Classic tournament, where they faced the Fulton Maroons in the opening game. The Maroons kept the score close until the Golds went on a 20 to 2 run to put the game out of reach. Ambauen hit for 13 and Jordan Isaac added 11.
Salmon Arm trailed the talented Oliver Hornets by as many as 12 points in the second half of their second game, but the Golds were able to turn up the defensive pressure, and pulled out a 45-43 victory. Josh Kujat played a strong game at both ends of the court, and finished with 13 points. Caden Holmes added 8.
The Golds faced the much improved Vernon Panthers in the tournament final. Salmon Arm was able to maintain a small lead until they exploded for 18 points in the fourth quarter to secure a 59-35 win. Tournament all star Jordan Isaac went to the hoop hard scoring 17 and tournament MVP Dillan Olson netted 13.
The Golds will host the Vernon Panthers on Jan. 21, 7 p.m.
The Senior Golds won two and lost two over the weekend at Valleyview Secondary in Kamloops.
In the first game, SAS defeated Golden 54-33, with all players contributing to turning around an early deficit. Game stars were Paul Beevor-Potts for playing shutdown defence against a superb guard and Jordan Hislop for chipping in 22 points. Lenny DePatie also turned in a stellar defensive game against a very strong forward.
In the second game, SAS fell 59-50 to North Kamloops, a very good team, ranked 10th in the provincial AAA standings. The Golds played great defensively, but struggled to score. This was a positive game that came down to the wire, but the boys felt they let NorKam off the hook. DePatie chipped in 15 points and game star, Morgan Crandlemire, scored 17.
In the third game, SAS defeated St. Ann’s 72-54. Game star DePatie led the way with 19 points, but it was a real team effort in this game with Crandlemire 12 points, Brayden Koprowsky 11 and Beevor-Potts 10. Every player registered a minimum of two points, something that doesn’t happen often.
In the fourth game, SAS was narrowly defeated by Kalamalka 47-42. SAS again struggled to score, and this was a team they had previously beaten by 26 points. Crandlemire scored 18 points, and played all 40 minutes.
Coach Rhys Waters said the team can play with anyone defensively but sometimes struggles offensively.
“When we are off, we really struggle to get anything going, and unfortunately, that is a big reason why we went 2-2, and not 4-0.”
He noted the team had strong performances from all players, and have still had all players see floor time in every game this year – “not something a lot of senior basketball teams can say.”
• The Sr. Golds and Jewels host the Penticton Lakers this Saturday, Jan. 18 at noon and 1:45 p.m. You’re invited to come out and cheer.