Skip to content

Okanagan boys basketball primer: Valleys are here

Several teams from around the Vernon area are primed to make runs in Valleys and Provincials
Fulton Maroons guard Joban Panag (with ball) squeezes between a pair of Sa-Hali Sabres defenders AJ Cotito (12) and Dainen Boyd (7) from Kamloops in the opening game Thursday, Jan. 11, of the 24th Fulton Corporate Classic senior boys basketball tournament at the Fulton gym. Fulton will be hosting the Double A Valley Championship this weekend. (Roger Knox/Morning Star)

It’s basketball heaven for the next two weeks for players around the province.

Numerous zone and valley championships are underway, with provincial berths on the line as the high school basketball season wraps up.

Here’s a quick look on how the North Okanagan boys teams are doing as they get set for the home stretch of games.

Grade 9

The 14th annual Grade 9 boys Okanagan Valley tournament saw 16 teams battle for three provincial spots. The tournament was hosted at both George Elliott Secondary in Lake Country and W.L. Seaton in Vernon over the Feb. 15 weekend.

Vernon Christian, Seaton, Pleasant Valley and Kalamalka were the North Okanagan squads competing. In their openers on Thursday, Feb. 15, Vernon Christian was able to defeat Nelson’s Trafalgar, 57-49 while Seaton, Kal and Pleasant Valley all lost.

Friday’s matchups saw losses to all four North Okanagan teams, eliminating them from provincial consideration.

The final placement matches on Saturday left Pleasant Valley 16th, Kal 15th, Seaton in 11th and Vernon Christian in seventh place. Taking the provincial berths were K.L.O from Kelowna, and two Kamloops teams, Brocklehurst and Sa-Hali.

Junior Boys

The Junior Boys Valley championships took place over the Feb. 16 weekend, hosted by Kelowna Secondary School (KSS).

The eight- team draw had four provincial berths on the line as the North Okanagan had Vernon Secondary School (VSS) and the Kalamalka Lakers competed.

VSS faltered, losing their first two games, to knock them out of a provincial berth opportunity.

Kal, fresh off winning their North Zone championship, finished third in Valleys to punch their ticket to the big dance. Despite losing their opener on Friday against Rutland, the Lakers upset the Westsyde Whundas out of Kamloops, with just six players in their second game on Saturday.

They followed up that victory with a decisive win over the hometown Owls to finish third and assure themselves a top spot at the 32-team provincial tournament, set for Feb. 24-27 at the Langley Events Centre.

Single A Senior

The Single A Senior Valleys begin on Thursday, Feb. 22, with three provincial berths up for grabs. The tournament is hosted at A.L. Fortune in Enderby with the home Falcons being huge underdogs as they are seeded eighth and will face the top-ranked Similkameen Sparks.

The Vernon Christian Royals are the fourth seed, and will match up against the fifth ranked Osoyoos Rattlers. Winning the first two games would guarantee a provincial berth, while two straight losses would knock a team out.

Double A Senior

The Double A Senior Valley tournament is hosted at Clarence Fulton in Vernon this year, from Feb. 22 to 24. Just two provincial spots are available, and the eight-team playoff is chock-full of quality teams.

Fulton enters as the third seed and will have to fend off a pesky Merritt squad. That games tip time is 1:45 p.m. on Thursday.

Pleasant Valley (fifth) battles Princess Margaret out of Prince George while Kalamalka, who snuck in as the final seed, will need a monumental upset in their opener, as they face top seed Summerland and their defensive pressure.

In a unique quirk to the tournament, if the losing team in the final on Saturday has not played the third place team, they may request to ‘challenge them’ for the final spot in provincials.

There are no North Okanagan teams participating in the Triple or Quad A tournament this year. Watch for coverage of these tournaments on the Morning Star website.

Bowen Assman

About the Author: Bowen Assman

I joined The Morning Star team in January 2023 as a reporter. Before that, I spent 10 months covering sports in Kelowna.
Read more