There was great high school basketball action in town this past week.
The MSS Panthers junior girls squad hosted an eight-team tournament on the weekend that saw a total of 11 games played on Friday and Saturday at the Merritt Secondary School gymnasium.
The junior Panthers went 2-1 to finish fifth in their home tournament. Their wins were against the Princeton Rebels (60-10) and the Oliver Hornets (32-19), while their only loss was to the St. Ann’s Crusaders by a score of 39-25.
Leading scorers in the tournament for the Merritt Secondary junior girls team were Montana Leverre (34 pts.), Savannah Stewart (20 pts.) and Chloe Burnham (16 pts.)
The MSS senior girls basketball team also took part in the weekend junior tournament as a last-minute fill-in for an out-of-town team that dropped out.
Playing strictly an exhibition schedule, the short-staffed senior squad managed to go undefeated in tying Penticton High (22-22) on Friday night and then beating Oliver (31-13) and Princeton (35-13) on Saturday.
Leading scorers for the MSS senior girls were Jaycee Chenier (25 pts.) and Kaitlyn Suzuki (12 pts.)
The tournament’s championship game on Saturday night saw Nechako Valley Secondary from Vanderhoof prevail over the Valleyview Vikes from Kamloops 57-43.
On Thursday of last week, the MSS junior boys were edged 52-41 by the visiting Sa-Hali Sabres. The Panthers held the lead throughout the first two quarters but came up short in a back-and-forth second half.
Exact point totals were not available, but the leading scorer for the MSS junior boys was Evan Sahota. Dakota Grismer-Voght and Cohen McCormack also had strong games.
On Monday night of this week, Merritt Secondary’s two Grade 8 teams hosted Princeton in a pair of exhibition games.
In a thrilling girls’ contest, the visiting Rebels edged the host team 33-32. Top scorers for the Panthers were Kerragan Selman (8 pts.) and Jensen Cavaliere (4 pts.)
The score was not as close in the junior boys’ game as Princeton topped Merritt 47-27. Leading point-getters for the Panthers were Sam McNiven (9 pts.), Fred Ware (6 pts.) and Darius Sam (5 pts.)