Panago Classic kicks off hoops season

Junior girls basketball players in the lakecity hit the hardwood late November at the Panago Columneetza Classic basketball tournament.

Junior girls basketball players in the lakecity hit the hardwood late November at the Panago Columneetza Classic basketball tournament.

“This was a preseason tournament that had special approval from B.C. School Sports to host out of the season,” said Columneetza coach Brigette Peel.

“Being a preseason tournament it allowed for the schools playing to use it as an opportunity to let even more girls play as teams did not have to be registered until Dec. 5.”

This allowed both Williams Lake secondary and Columneetza secondary to floor two teams at the tournament, which wrapped up Nov. 27.

“Columneetza had 18 girls interested in playing this year so all the girls got the opportunity to play in the tournament,” she said.

“I was very pleased with the effort and sportsmanship shown by all the Columneetza girls.”

Eight teams took part in the tournament including Nechako Valley (Vanderhoof), Quesnel Junior secondary, Correlieu secondary (Quesnel) and two teams from WLSS, Nechako Valley and Columneetza, respectively.

Winning the tournament was Nechako Valley ‘A,’ who beat out WLSS in a tightly-contested 34-30 final.

Finishing third was Columneetza ‘A,’ after they beat fellow Columneetza ‘B’ teammates 56-25.

Locals named to the all-star team included Shania Supernault (WLSS), Rebecca Caeppel (CSS), Annie Blois (CSS), Kaylee Billyboy (CSS), Anne Butters (WLSS) and Montana Reid (WLSS).

The junior girls regular season is now underway.

Peel said the Cougars are scheduled to attend tournaments in Prince George, Vanderhoof and Kelowna before going to regional championships in February. From there the winning school’s team will attend the North Central District Zone Championships.

“It looks to be a very promising season for a great group of girls who are very committed to the sport,” Peel said.

“I am very excited to see what the season will bring.”